Alberta Premier Alison Redford toasts her daughter Sarah's 10th birthday as they make their way to talk to the media at the Talisman Centre in downtown Calgary, Alberta on April 7,2012.
Credits: STUART DRYDEN/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- Parents with kids in sports or other physical programs can count on getting cash back, and amateur sporting organizations can expect increased funding under a Progressive Conservative government.
Premier Alison Redford announced Saturday a new Children's Physical Activity Tax Credit of up to $500 per child.
"So that families who are making investments in terms of sporting activity, and investing in the health and well-being of our children, are getting some tax recognition for that," Redford said.
Redford said all families, including low-income Albertans, will be able to benefit from the tax credit starting in 2013.
It will apply to children or dependents under 16 years of age -- or under 18 years if eligible for the disability tax credit -- and is estimated to cost $36 million per year.
The new provincial credit would fall in line with the federal tax credit and help parents cover registration or membership costs for an eligible child in a program of physical activity.
The pledge from Redford closely mirrors one made by the Wildrose Party, who last week promised a $500 culture, arts and sports tax credit that would apply to parents who enroll their kids to play hockey, take dance lessons or participate in other extracurricular activities.
"But we are also doing something else, and that is we are doubling the amount of funding that will go into operations for Alberta amateur sports -- recognizing the fact that a lot of the athletic activity that is going on does require volunteers and staff to be involved to keep these teams going all year round," Redford said.
A re-elected PC government would increase funding to amateur sporting organizations to $20 million from $10 million.
Redford said this extra funding will allow various hockey associations, dance programs, soccer clubs, baseball leagues and many other physical activity programs to expand access to include more of Alberta's children.
"Then, of course, we've always continued to invest in the infrastructure with respect to culture and amateur sports in the city, and we will continue to do that here and across the province."
This latest tax break can be added to the list of other $500 tax credits Redford announced this past week, including one for seniors who engage in physical or leisure activities and one for teachers who "go above and beyond" to enhance the learning experience in the classroom.