CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The 0.5% small business tax reduction announced in today’s provincial budget is a step toward improving P.E.I.’s business competitiveness says the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, but reiterates its disappointment that government did not achieve its election promise to lower the small business tax rate to one per cent by January 2020.
“We recognize the need for compromise in this new political era, however, with that compromise, we were hoping to land somewhere more in the middle,” said Chamber CEO, Penny Walsh-McGuire. “History has shown that a reduction in the small business tax is an investment – and when lowered, provincial business tax revenues grew over time. We look forward to continuing to work with all parties to support future small business tax rate reductions.”
Prior to and during the provincial election, the Chamber advocated for a small business tax rate of two per cent, which would make it the lowest in Atlantic Canada. It stressed the importance of this as a way to create a competitive business environment for Island small business owners, who employ tens of thousands of people across P.E.I.
Also in today’s budget was an investment in the Partnership for Growth, an alliance of 21 business and industry organizations formed to work with government and other stakeholders to develop an economic action plan for P.E.I.
“With the projections for P.E.I.’s economy expected to lead the country, we are pleased to see an investment in the Partnership for Growth’s goal to set a sustainable plan for our economic future,” said Walsh-McGuire. “As one of the partners, we look forward to taking the next steps to see this become a reality.”
The announcement to increase the Basic Personal Amount to $10,000 is also welcomed by the Chamber. Over the last number of years, it has advocated for an increase to this amount as a way to improve the situation for employees, particularly lower wage earners. The Chamber encourages government to continue to work toward fulfilling its election promise to increase the Basic Personal Amount to $12,000 and tie subsequent increases to the Consumer Price Index.
The Chamber is optimistic about today’s budget surplus and plans for a continued decline of the province’s Debt to GDP ratio.
The Chamber presented its 2019 budget recommendations and 2019 provincial election priorities to representatives from all three elected parties. Both documents can be found at www.charlottetownchamber.com/reports-policy-submissions