NDP says Albertans paying more under UCP government

by Morinville News Staff

The NDP claim is calling on the government to outline the true costs of their budget cuts to Alberta municipalities. The opposition party says Alberta families will pay more under the United Conservative government. Citing recently released data, the NDP says rural Alberta families could be on the hook for more than $1,000 over the next four years to pay for what they say is the UCP’s corporate tax giveaway.

The NDP list cuts to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) and Grants in Place of Taxes (GIPOT) in last year’s budget as well as a new funding formula for rural policing as measures that will force municipalities to cover the costs through property taxes.

“Premier Kenney and his UCP government are forcing Albertans to pick up the tab for their $4.7 billion giveaway to corporations by downloading costs onto municipal ratepayers,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley in a media release Monday. “Ultimately, this falls on Alberta families, and it hits rural Albertans the hardest.”

Notley called on Premier Kenney and his party to give Albertans a break at a time when many are struggling by reversing the corporate tax break.

The Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) have said increased policing costs and unpaid non-residential taxes, and reductions in grant funding, are having significant impacts in rural communities.

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) voiced their concerns in a letter to Premier Kenney saying municipalities cannot absorb further cutbacks or additional costs without significantly increasing taxes or cutting back essential services.

“Municipalities are sounding the alarm, but the UCP refuses to listen,” said NDP Municipal Affairs Critic Joe Ceci. “They’re taking rural Alberta for granted and aren’t being honest about the true cost of their cuts.”

Notley added that beyond issues identified by the RMA and AUMA, the increased government take on ticket revenue is having an impact in some communities. Additionally, changes to the Alberta Community Transit Fund, Green Transit Incentives Program, Municipal Water/Wastewater Program, and Alberta Community Resilience Program are impacting the province’s communities.

“It also doesn’t include additional costs from increased income taxes, school and busing fees, auto insurance, and tuition from the UCP’s first budget,” Notley said. “Albertans should be very concerned about what’s still to come from the UCP in this week’s budget.”

The NDP called on the government to release a municipality-by-municipality accounting of the full cost to property taxpayers as a result of 2019 Budget cuts.

The UCP will table its 2020 Budget on Feb. 27.

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22 Comments

  1. Insurance up.
    School fees up.
    Bus fees up.
    Property taxes up.

    You know what went down? Healthcare services.
    Education.
    AISH.
    Charity funding.
    I could go on, but it’s already ‘tldr’ for many.

  2. Of coarse we pay more. How else to you lower debt. Socialism borrows and borrows till everyone is broke and equal and nobody owns nothing. Good system there guys.

    • Eric Eisenmenger he lowed the tax to have some form of incentive to invest in our province so we can continue to survive and not have to burden our children in the future with heavy tax load. But you of coarse are a socialist which will never work till everyone is broke.

    • Jim Mccullough where is all this investment that he incentivized? I think having a healthcare system that cares for children and a school that effectively teaches them is more important. Its course not coarse. Also maybe you should cut out the personal attacks? Just a thought.

    • Eric Eisenmenger well unfortunately healthcare doesn’t pay the bills and teaching the children socialism isn’t helping the economy. Frankly I’m getting tired of people striking they are only making the economy worst. If you think these things can be supported with out a solid infrastructure to pay down debt how would they even exsist? Right now in Alberta there is very little job opportunity and I have worked all my life and I really hate to see our province become a welfare state so we really need to get long lasting revenue coming into our province that helps pay for the very things you want to see happen. Our government works very hard to bring people to the table only to rejected a federal level. To be totally honest no government is perfect but I will support a government that try’s to lower debt anyway they can and still put food on the table.

    • Jim Mccullough reducing government services, like healthcare, ends up costing us more in the end. People still use those services, but they will use them in a more inefficient way. It’s like saying “I’m going to save money on my gas bill by turning the thermostat down,” then heating your home with your electric stove. You’re comment on education is asinine, educated children creates educated adults. Scrapping all the work and money the NDP put into invigorating the school system (only to cut funding for schools) was a horrible idea. There are a lot of job opportunities in Alberta, but you have to be well educated and skilled. Paying down the debt is a good idea, but Kenny has not been doing that. His corporate stimulus plan is failing. Jobs are leaving Alberta because the government in Ottawa is fighting against hydrocarbon producers. The UPC and NDP energy plans are very very similar, yet Kenny method of implementing it is very abrasive, which is turning off investors and environmentalists alike. Look at their “War Room” it’s gushing out money and is in a constant state of failure. Even The Globe and Mail ( a right leaning paper ) has said “Alberta’s government has met the enemy, and it is its own ‘war room’” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/editorials/article-albertas-government-has-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-its-own-war-room/ . If you want to pay down the debt, you need to do so with something other than oil which is why Alberta needs to invest in innovation not corporate handouts.

    • Eric Eisenmenger so your ok being billions of dollars in debt with no energy source. Capping insurance companies which are having a hard time keep us insured. You want government to pay for health service and schools with what? As far as environmental issues it’s a joke I don’t believe it. We do a excellent job protecting the environment. Every year we reduce of emissions but I’m sure your ok with paying a 50 dollar a tonne carbon tax that will climb to who knows what denomination and do absolutely nothing to protect the environment. Now that is asinine. You have brought some good points but a lazy province that doesn’t pay back debt is a socialist view.

    • Jim Mccullough who said anything about taking hydrocarbons out of our economy totally? I’m confused what about the environment do you not believe? If it’s about a carbon tax, it has shown to work in Nordic countries, as well economists believe it is the most effective way. Regardless it has to be more effective than wasting money on development propaganda and corporate subsides. I am curious you keep bringing up socialism, and how you think it is bad. What about it don’t you like? Canada is quite socialist, we have government controlled socialist banking system, healthcare, subsidized transit, subsidized provincial projects, very few of our roads have tolls (none in Alberta that I am aware of) RRSPs, RESPs, and many of our industries are government regulated and controlled. When the housing market crashed in the US and it dragged the US into a recession Canada fared well because of our regulated banks and housing market. Even now we are able to cool bullish housing markets through government oversight (oddly enough the stress test is getting tweaked this April to make it easier to pass). So really want about it bothers you?

    • In alberta, corporate taxes are only paid on revenue after expenses. Aka profit.. these corporate tax cuts do nothing to help a struggling oil company and are merely a handout to already profitable companies who have been able to streamline their operation by reducing man power via insitu extraction. Suncors 2018 annual report specifically mentions that.

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