The small business tax reduction announced in today’s provincial budget is a step in the right direction toward improving P.E.I.’s business competitiveness and providing much-needed tax relief said the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
“While PEI’s small business tax rate is still the second-highest in the country and the highest in Atlantic Canada, today’s 0.5 per cent tax reduction and commitment to further reductions are welcomed signals of support for the business community. They are also an indication government is paying attention to the needs of our members,” said Chamber Executive Director, Penny Walsh-McGuire. “A lowered small business tax rate encourages reinvestment in the local economy and supports job creation. We will continue to advocate for the small business tax rate to be competitive with the region.”
Research conducted by the Chamber found that historically, when the small business tax rate is reduced, provincial tax revenues are not negatively impacted. In advance of today, the Chamber advocated for a two per cent reduction, bringing the rate more in line with the rest of Atlantic Canada.
Also in today’s budget was the announcement of a small business investment grant that provides a 15 per cent rebate on business investments up to $25,000. The Chamber sees this program as an opportunity for local business owners to access funds that will help them invest in the growth of their business.
“Members have indicated accessing capital can be challenging for small business owners,” said Walsh-McGuire. “This program provides assistance for businesses who are looking to grow their company and reinvest in the local economy.”
The Chamber is also pleased to see an increase in the basic personal tax exemption amount. In past, the Chamber advocated for this increase as a way to improve the situation for employees, particularly those in minimum wage jobs. With P.E.I. having one of the lowest basic personal tax exemption rates in the country, the Chamber encourages government to work toward an exemption rate that is in line with the national average.
The Chamber presented their 2018 budget recommendations to the Minister of Finance, the Official Opposition Caucus and Office of the Third Party. The complete budget presentation titled Supporting Economic Growth through a Competitive Business Environment can be found at www.charlottetownchamber.com/reports-policy-submissions
The Chamber notes a surplus budget allows further opportunity to focus on business growth and competitiveness.
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the “Voice of Business” on economic issues for close to 1000 members, representing more than 18,000 employees in small, medium and large enterprises in the capital region.