Canada's Alberta promises again to hike taxes, review royalties

Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:01pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The New Democratic government in Canada's province of Alberta, the largest source of U.S. oil imports, said on Monday it would follow through on plans to hike taxes on corporations and high-income earners but gave no indication on when it would move to review oil and gas royalty rates.

In a speech setting out its first legislative agenda after being elected last month, the government said it would introduce bills to raise the corporate tax rate to 12 percent from 10 percent, end the province's 10 percent flat tax for those earning more than C$125,000 (US$101,568) and ban corporate and union donations to political parties.

The New Democrats will also introduce legislation to fund the government in advance of a fall budget planned by Alberta's new Premier Rachel Notley.

However the speech gave no indication when Notley, whose election victory last month ended 44 years of Conservative rule, would follow through on her most contentious promise to review how much oil and gas companies pay to exploit provincially-owned reserves.

This has unsettled the oil industry but there was nothing concrete as to when a panel might convene to review oil and gas royalties.

"We need to review how the people of Alberta ... will be rewarded for the development of their own energy resources," the government said in the text of speech.

Measures introduced in the speech were included in Notley's campaign platform.

($1 = 1.2307 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Diane Craft)

Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Rachel Notley waves to supporters after being sworn in as Alberta's 17th premier at her official swearing-in ceremony in Edmonton, Alberta, May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Topher Seguin