Sask small biz negatively impacted by $908 million in tax hikes

70% say it will hurt Saskatchewan’s overall competitiveness, 34% will delay investments

Regina, April 12, 2017 –Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released new findings from a survey showing that the vast majority of Saskatchewan small businesses will be negatively impacted by the $908 million in tax increases announced in the recent 2017 Saskatchewan Budget.

“While there are those that say the recent tax increases will have a minimal impact on the economy,  it’s clear Saskatchewan small business owners have a very different perspective and are worried about the potential fallout,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Prairie & Agri-business.

When asked about the impact the increase in the PST from 5 to 6 per cent, along with the expansion of the PST base, will have on their business, 79 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say it will be negative, with the construction sector being the hardest hit (92%). Another 18 per cent did not know and only three per cent say it will be positive. As one small business owner told CFIB: “The government has sorely not thought of the impact these tax hikes will have on small business.

The specific harmful impacts include: Lower my customers’ purchasing power (63%); raise input costs (56%);  increase my product/service prices (55%); delay investments in my business (34%); increase pressure to freeze/cut salaries (28%); put future hiring plans on hold (23%); encourage cross border shopping (17%); cut back on current number of employees (12%) and reduce staff hours (10%).

“Since the budget was delivered, we’ve heard from hundreds of small business owners concerned about the impact of these tax hikes,” added Braun-Pollon. “Many are worried their customers will think twice about getting any new work done, like going ahead with needed renovations. It’s going to make it that much harder for businesses to grow in Saskatchewan.”

Mixed views on tax relief

CFIB members’ views on the tax relief laid out in the budget were mixed. When asked what impact the Personal Income Tax Reductions will have on their business, 56 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say it will be positive, 41 per cent did not know and 3 per cent say it will be negative.

Similarly, when asked about the impact the General Corporate Income Tax Reductions (applicable to business income in excess of $500,000) will have on their business, 46 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say it will be positive, 33 per cent say it is not applicable, 17 per cent did not know and 4 per cent say it will be negative.

Other highlights of CFIB’s Post-Budget survey:

  • 90 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners agree that as the province’s finances improve, the government should reduce the PST, 9 per cent disagree and 1 per cent don’t know.
  • Instead of raising taxes, 81 per cent of respondents agree the Saskatchewan government should have further reduced the size/cost of government, 15 per cent disagree and 4 per cent don’t know.
  • 70 per cent of respondents agree the PST rate increase and expansion of the PST base announced in the Saskatchewan Budget will hurt Saskatchewan’s overall competitiveness, 20 per cent disagree and 10 per cent don’t know.

“These survey results reveal the significant impact the budget’s tax increases will have on Saskatchewan job-creators,” concluded Braun-Pollon. “We also know independent business owners are nervous about the impact this budget will have on the economy as a whole. That’s why they will expect the government to reduce the PST when the province’s finances improve.”

CFIB’s post-budget survey was conducted from March 30–April 10, 2017 and received 292 responses.

To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact Marilyn Braun-Pollon at (306) 757-0000, 1 888 234-2232 or email You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter @cfibsk.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by EntrepreneursTM. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.