Report from the Legislature December 14, 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Saskatchewan economic growth is projected to lead Canada in both 2018 and 2019 at a rate of 2.7%. Policy matters and so too does the vision, determination and hard work of the entrepreneurs and workers who have built and maintained our province’s resilient and diversified economy.

Saskatchewan has now enjoyed a decade of growth and our government is working to ensure we keep growing stronger. This fall we outlined our plan to strengthen our economy, continue improving important services, protect our communities, and carefully manage the province’s finances.

During the most recent sitting of the legislature, our government passed a bill allowing small business to pay less tax on more income. The bill extends the lower 2% tax rate and gives employers greater incentive to hire more workers, and invest in new capital right here in Saskatchewan.

Unfortunately, the Saskatchewan NDP stood in the Legislature and voted against these measures. In fact, they went so far as to call small business owners and entrepreneurs “elites” and they even complained that these tax changes only help the “wealthy and well-connected”.

Our government recognizes and appreciates the huge contribution small business owners make to Saskatchewan and we will continue to stand up for them.

These new tax measures mean that Saskatchewan will soon have the highest small business income threshold in Canada, building upon our government’s record of creating one of the strongest investment climates in the country, achieving our province’s first-ever Aaa credit rating, and among the strongest national job and wage growth over the last decade.

Just recently, for the third straight year, The C.D. Howe Institute revealed that Saskatoon has the most competitive tax rates for business investments of any major city in Canada. The annual report, which compares marginal effective tax rates across the country, ranked Saskatoon as more favourable than Calgary, which, prior 2015, had the lowest rate. In fact, the provincial tax burden in Alberta is referenced as a significant contributor to Calgary’s slide in the rankings.

This C.D. Howe ranking was determined by measuring different taxes that affect businesses, including retail sales taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes and land transfer taxes, among others. Policy matters and while this report ranks Saskatoon as the top city, the news also reflects positively on the tax competitiveness across the entire province. Since 2009, the province has provided residents, business owners and farmers $1.2 billion in education property tax relief.

Our province needs to fund important social investments while maintaining this competitiveness, and that’s why we’ve moved towards consumption taxes. While the NDP votes against measures to support small business, we are working to maintain investment and opportunity in the province.

Our government has introduced many new ideas and initiatives and I’m excited to continue with our plan to keep Saskatchewan growing stronger.