Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Brunswick Budget - It Could Have Been Worse

The most disappointing part is that the final round of personal income tax cuts has been suspended until further notice. At the same time - the government merely froze the tax rates at their current level; even the upper tax bracket, about which the government was clear, was returned to 14.3% (which is the last year's rate,) and not all the way back to 17.95%. Moreover - large and small businesses could still look forward to save 9-10% on their provincial income tax bill. General business tax rate goes down to 10% in July (but the final cut to 8% is suspended) and there's a new tax cut for small businesses - from 5% to 4.5%, to take place next January.

In return the government is boosting taxes on tobacco and gasoline, practically undoing the gas tax cut, implemented by Shawn Graham's government in 2006. Looks like this has become a tradition - once a new government comes to power, it cancels some of the tax cuts brought in by its predecessors. After all, the provincial Liberals too, started by undoing some of the Bernard Lord's tax cuts. The difference is that, unlike the Liberals 4 years ago, the PCs chose to address the budget crunch by raising consumption taxes and abating income taxes and not the other way around. And, since David Alward's government doesn't have to appease the opposition to get the budget passed, we can still look forward for the suspended tax cuts to be implemented sooner or later; maybe - in time for the 2014 election.

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