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The Way Forward

Progressive Income Tax in Alberta

The Way Forward

For Albertans, budget 2014 will be remembered as a missed opportunity. The provincial government failed to take action to address a major challenge to provincial society: growing income inequality.

This fact sheet focuses on the province's flat tax: a key contributing factor to income inequality in Alberta. Today Alberta has the highest level of income inequality in the country, and the only ones benefiting from single rate tax are the wealthy. Since the flat tax was introduced in 2000, there has been a significant shift in the province's tax burden from the well-off to the middle class and working poor.

For most Albertans, those making between $25,000 and $150,000 a year, it is a myth that their personal income taxes are lower in Alberta than anywhere else in the country. Returning to a progressive tax structure is a necessary first step in decreasing inequality, improving quality of life and well-being, and securing a stable source of revenues in Alberta.

Greg Flanagan

Greg Flanagan is a public finance economist with an MES (Political Economy and the Environment) from York University, and MA (Economics) from the University of British Columbia. Greg has taught and been in administration for 30 years in the Alberta post-secondary system, and recently retired from the University of Lethbridge. He has been involved with Parkland Institute since its inception as a board member, frequent researcher, and advocate; and is a distinguished research fellow.

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Shannon Stunden Bower

Shannon Stunden Bower is the former Research Director with Parkland Institute. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. An environmental historian and historical geographer, she is primarily concerned with the Canadian prairie west.

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