Why companies should pay more taxes

Some people think that businesses should pay less in taxes. Here’s why they should pay more.

Some people don’t like it when you tell them that businesses should pay more taxes. They claim that high taxes stifle business, which in turn prevents job creation.

Companies should pay higher taxes. After all, they consume more public resources than people do.

Companies want educated employees. Every employee, assuming they were educated in Alberta, requires 13 years of public schooling. More if the employer requires a college diploma or certificate or a university degree. Those years of education cost money.

Companies want healthy employees. The hospitals, clinics, and healthcare professionals necessary to keep those employees healthy cost money.

Companies want secure workplaces, protected from crime, fire, and other physical threats. Those protective services cost money.

Companies want fresh, clean water coming into their workplace and dirty wastewater taken away from their workplace. That costs money.

Companies want robust infrastructure for transporting materials to their workplace and finished products from their workplace. That infrastructure costs money.

And the list goes on.

The demand companies put on public resources far outweighs the demand that individuals put on public resources. Despite this, companies pay less in taxes in absolute dollars than individual taxpayers do.

The Alberta budget 2020 expects to receive $12.6 billion in personal income tax and $4.5 billion in corporate income tax. In other words, for every $1.00 the provincial government collects from businesses, they collect $2.80 from individuals. It’s unfair that individual Albertans should have to bear such a large financial burden just because governments think businesses deserve a tax break.

Companies consume more public resources; they should pay more for public resources.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news stories, focusing on politics and labour.

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