More than 70% of Albertans feel the average family is over-taxed
While the Smith government recently announced inflation relief measures including $600 cash payouts to seniors and children in families in “middle-income” households, the province has yet to deliver meaningful tax reductions that would provide Albertan families long-term relief.
And Alberta families pay a lot of taxes to federal, provincial and local governments—income taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes and many others. According to a 2022 study published by the Fraser Institute, the average Albertan family (consisting of two or more people) paid almost 44 per cent of its income in total taxes.
Now, a new poll (conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Fraser Institute) finds that 71 per cent of Albertans feel the average family is over-taxed. Clearly, Albertans want tax reductions. Unfortunately, the provincial and federal governments have mostly gone in the other direction, increasing many taxes since 2014.
The same Leger poll found that 84 per cent of Albertans believe the average family should pay 40 per cent or less of its income in total taxes (the same question was asked to residents in other provinces; Alberta had by far the highest share of respondents who believe the tax burden should be at or below 40 per cent). And a majority of respondents (58 per cent) in Alberta feel the average family should pay 25 per cent or less of its income in total taxes. (Remember, the average Alberta family currently pays nearly 44 per cent of its income in taxes.)
Again, there’s a hunger for tax reductions in the province.
Another important consideration is whether Albertans feel they get value for all the taxes they pay to finance federal, provincial and local government spending. According to the poll, almost half (49 per cent) of Albertans feel they receive poor or very poor value from services such as health care, education, police, roads and national defence. In contrast, only 14 per cent of Albertans believe they get good or great value from government services. Less than three in 10 (29 per cent) believe they receive satisfactory value.
The polling data is in. There’s strong support among Albertans for tax reductions and there’s general unhappiness with government services. Political parties of all stripes should pay close attention to the opinions and desires of Albertans when considering how to move forward on taxes for families.
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