Manitoba Budget 2023 provides cost relief for small businesses

CFIB is pleased to see the government reduce payroll taxes for small businesses

Winnipeg, March 7, 2023  – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased to see the 2023 Manitoba Budget take action to reduce the province’s overall taxation burden for individuals and businesses at a time when many are feeling uncertain about the future of the economy.

Measures such as raising the Basic Personal Amount (BPA), increasing personal income tax bracket thresholds, and raising the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy exemption threshold will go a long way to support households and small businesses.

In response to a recent CFIB survey, the majority (92%) of Manitoba small businesses indicated that reducing the overall tax burden should be the government’s top priority for this year’s budget, followed by addressing labour shortages (89%), dealing with healthcare challenges (87%), and paying down government debt (80%). We are happy to see the government address small businesses' priorities in this budget. 

Although the revenue and expenditure forecasts are subject to change throughout the year, the Manitoba Budget is currently forecasting a reduced deficit ($363 million in 2023-24, down $15 million from the Q3 forecast for the 2022-23 Budget) and projects a slow climb towards balanced budgets with a deficit of $53 million in 2026/27. 

“Given all of the challenges small business owners are currently facing, namely heavy debt loads, skyrocketing inflation, increased input costs, and rising interest rates, we appreciate that this year’s budget includes payroll cost-relief measures for small businesses,” said Brianna Solberg, CFIB provincial affairs director. “Working with the province’s Tax Competitive Working Group, CFIB has been calling for the government to improve Manitoba’s tax competitiveness and we are encouraged to see that our recommendations have not just been heard but met with enhancements.” 

The Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy exemption threshold was raised from $2 million to $2.25 million of annual payroll and the threshold below which businesses pay a reduced effective rate was raised from $4 million to $4.5 million. The government also committed to reducing the tax rate if fiscal updates show better than expected revenue performance. 

“A more competitive tax environment will make Manitoba a more attractive location for investment which can bring new businesses to the province, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth,” said Jairo Yunis, CFIB economist for Western Canada. “Although it was good to see the government reduce taxes for households and businesses, we were also hoping to see an extension of the Small Business Minimum Wage Adjustment Program, which is set to expire on March 31st.” 

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Jairo Yunis 
CFIB economist, Western Canada 
(403) 399-5321  

About CFIB 
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members (4,000 in Manitoba) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings.