Dr. Raj Sherman talks at a press conference in downtown Calgary, Alberta on April 16,2012
Credits: STUART DRYDEN/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY
CALGARY -- The top 10% of earners will be asked to shoulder more of the fiscal load in Alberta under a new tax scheme proposed by Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.
Speaking here Monday, Sherman said the new plan calls for Albertans making over $100,000 a year -- the top 10% of earners -- to pay one of three rates.
Those making between $100,000 and $150,000 will be taxed at 13% while those making up to $200,000 will pay 15% and incomes over $200,000 will be taxed at 17%.
Corporations would also see their tax rate jump from 10% to 12%.
Those changes, along with $200 million in cuts, would bring in an additional $1.7 billion a year in revenue, reducing the province's reliance on the volatile natural resource market, Sherman said.
"At $100 per barrel oil, you can't look at this PC government's deficit as a short-term problem," he said.
"Currently we don't even bring in enough income tax to pay for health care, let alone the rest of government.
"We are paying the monthly bills by selling off parts of the family farm.
"That's not responsible -- that's not Albertan."
Sherman said his plan will get Alberta's fiscal house in order and ensure large surpluses beginning in 2014, which will be divided between the Sustainability Fund, Heritage Fund, a new Municipal Heritage Fund and a new Education Heritage Fund.
Interest earned from those funds will be used for the Liberal plan to wipe out university tuition and help fund cities in the province.
"There will be a day when the last oil well runs dry," Sherman said. "What will we have to show for a hundred years of oil and gas?
"What will our children have to show for it?"