A Times & Transcript editorial references AIMS’ study “I’ll take New England Anyday!”, counseling against subsidy-based job creation and recommending that hidden tax hikes, like higher gasoline taxes, be avoided. Read the full editorial here.
The Gallant government seems to be having its struggles of late attempting to achieve the right tax balance for New Brunswickers. Some recent measures seem at odds with one another – for example lowering the small business tax a couple of weeks ago but hiking the Provincial Sales Tax by two points this summer.
However there is at least in our view a trend and it is ever upward; the latest example being the premier’s speculation about another gasoline tax as a way of ‘putting a price on carbon’ to demonstrate his province is a willing partner in a national climate change strategy. And as far as we’re concerned hiking various public service fees – government announced several in the budget – are really just tax hikes in sheep’s clothing.
Thus, we believe that in the eyes of those who don’t appreciate gradually losing more and more of their hard-earned money to taxes (we’re willing to bet that’s most of us) government is slowly losing this struggle.
This week the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies released a report which takes taxes and economy beyond our borders by comparing tax rates among Atlantic Canadian provinces to the New England States.
That is a sensible comparison given that Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts – arguably all the way to New York – are our biggest competitors.
The study shows those States enjoy a considerable tax advantage over Atlantic Canada ‘across the board’ – personal tax rates, corporate tax brackets and sales taxes.
Some of the comparisons are downright disquieting. Bear in mind that New Brunswick actually lowered its income tax for higher earners to off-set federal hikes, but the current rate is still 25.75 per cent while the highest in New England is Vermont’s 8.95 per cent. Let’s hope they don’t start recruiting our doctors.
As for sales taxes, New Brunswick’s PST will soon be 10 per cent and the highest in New England is seven per cent, but New Hampshire’s is ‘zero.’ New Brunswick businesses can be thankful for the low Canadian dollar for now, but if Maine ever went that far, Moncton might go shopping in Bangor.