Over the last year, we heard from hundreds of business owners like you about what the priorities should be for Manitoba's 2020-2021 Budget. We're working hard to make sure the provincial government will let you keep more of your hard-earned money, while continuing to reduce the deficit and red tape. The province must limit spending growth, while ensuring important investments are made in core infrastructure and crime reduction, among others.
On January 30th, we met with Manitoba's Minister of Finance, Hon. Scott Fielding, and Mark Wasyliw, the Deputy House Leader for the Official Opposition and Critic for Finance. We also met with Dougald Lamont, Leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party on February 25th.
In these meetings, we shared results from our 2020-2021 Manitoba Pre-Budget Survey, as well as some other recent CFIB survey data and economic research.
CFIB’s 2020-21 pre-budget recommendations:
Priority #1 – Deliver needed small business tax relief
Provide needed tax relief for small businesses before 2022 including:
- Increase the Basic Personal Exemption amount to the national average before 2021, while keeping income tax brackets indexed going forward;
- Begin eliminating school property taxes on farmland and commercial properties now;
- Raise Manitoba’s Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy exemption to $2,500,000 and index the exemption to inflation;
- Expand the PST exemption base with an emphasis on reducing energy costs (e.g. Manitoba Hydro bills for businesses, new window installations and other home retrofit projects, sports equipment, etc.).
Deliver additional tax relief measures including:
- No new taxation (provincial carbon tax, health-care premium, municipal powers, etc.);
- Follow NB and ON by keeping access to the MB small business tax rate open for those affected by the new federal tax rules on passive investments.
Priority #2 – Spend like a small business:
Balance the budget by no later than 2022, without further tax increases:
- Limit short-term spending growth to no more than inflation and population growth, while making significant increases to spending on core infrastructure, and crime prevention;
- Increase health care spending by 2.1 per cent annually;
- Outline and publically release a multi-year plan to return to balanced budgets and begin paying down the provincial debt;
- Limit long-term spending increases to inflation and population growth after the budget is balanced;
- Reduce the size and cost of the provincial civil service (CCs included);
- Eliminate redundancy and excess staff through attrition
- Continue to narrow wage disparity (19.5%) between public and private sector workers
- Eliminate work week hours gap between public and private sector workers
- Eliminate banked public sector sick days (208)
- Move new hires from a defined benefit to defined contribution pension plan
- Implement Fiscal Performance Reviews in future years.
Priority #3 – Reduce red tape for small business
Continue ongoing efforts to reduce red tape and additionally:
- Consult with businesses and stakeholders annually to identify red tape headaches in different sectors;
- Improve communications of requirements and changes with business owners through an online business portal;
- Introduce a Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code;
- Work with stakeholders in the construction industry to pass prompt payment legislation or a similar policy;
- Through the Council of the Federation, continue reducing inter-provincial trade barriers;
- Work with the City of Winnipeg and other municipalities to cut red tape with permits and mitigate the impacts of municipal and provincial roadwork.
Join the Fight!
Manitoba’s businesses still need tax relief, and the provincial government must deliver on its commitment to increase the Basic Personal Exception (BPE) amount by $2,000. Help us push for more tax relief by signing our Action Alert: Progress made; more work needed!