Thursday, October 4, 2012

Erin Weir Policy Announcement

Erin Weir Campaign Note

The Weir campaign has put forward a new policy development earlier today, so let's go ahead and talk a bit about it. The proposal is to close a loophole in the Saskatchewan small business tax legislation, that the Weir campaign says would result in at least $200 million being pumped back into Saskatchewan's coffers.

The proposal is to restructure the small business tax code to ensure that only small businesses are allowed to access the lower tax rate. The press release makes the argument that only businesses under $100,000 of taxable profits should be allowed to access the lower rate of 2% business tax. Under the current system, Canadian owned large corporations that rake in $500,000 of taxable income are currently also receiving the lower 2% rate as opposed to the standard 12% rate.

It's a proposal that makes sense, as I don't think anyone could argue that a national company that pulls in $500,000 could be classified as a small business.

The plan is also coupled with a 2% tax credit (up to the first $100,000) for companies that reinvest profits in Saskatchewan. Essentially, a company that reinvests in Saskatchewan under this credit would pay no taxes on the first $100,000.

Weir's campaign also mentioned a plan to refund worker's compensation premiums for the first four years that a new worker is employed; and Weir affirmed a commitment to reestablishing the Saskatchewan Film Tax Credit.

While I'm not as much as a financial policy guy, the proposals seem sound at the face of them. After all, anything that ensures larger corporations are paying their fair share of provincial taxes and closes loopholes that prevent that can only be a good thing.

The only thing I can think of, and I'm saying this as some who follows policies closely, is for the campaign to develop a succinct way of presenting the policy and the need for it. Anything that gets too technical, while accurate, may run the risk of "switching off" voters who don't understand the intricacies of financial policy.

But if the campaign can find a quick way to get the idea and need across, it should be a simple enough sell to the general public.

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