Canada's Alberta hikes taxes, fees as budget deficit returns

Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:37pm EDT
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CALGARY (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Alberta said in its budget on Thursday it will hike fees, boost taxes, cut spending on healthcare and education, and tap its savings as it looks to overcome a massive drop in revenue from the oil industry, while forecasting a return to budget deficits for the next two fiscal years.

The province, whose oil sands are the largest source of U.S. crude imports, said it expects to post a budget deficit of C$4.99 billion ($4 billion) for the fiscal year beginning April 1, and C$3.05 billion for the next, following on a C$248 million surplus for the 2014/2015 fiscal year. It expects to return to surplus in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

($1 = 1.2482 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Haggett and Nia Williams)