It may cost us more to shop in Saskatchewan after Wednesday's provincial budget.
In advance of budget day, Premier Brad Wall announced today that the government would need three years to return to balanced budgets.
The provincial deficit is estimated at $1.2 billion, with Wall blaming the slumping oil and potash industries for most of the trouble.
“No one expected resource revenues to fall below the low end (of resource revenue estimates)...to fall over a billion dollars for three years, depleting the rainy day fund,” Wall said in a message on Facebook.
“In Wednesday's budget you will see two important shifts in our tax system,” he continued. “Shifts designed to strengthen the province's finances, while ensuring our economy remains strong. There will be a shift away from reliance on resource revenues, and towards other types of taxes to make up the shortfall.”
What “other” taxes?
“A shift toward consumption taxes, but away from taxes on income and productivity,” Wall explained. “This fundamental change in our tax system is designed to keep our economy strong, while generating the revenue needed to ensure important public services are sustainable in the long run.”
This budget faces head-on the new reality of our lower resource revenue base, controlling and reducing government spending, and ensuring Saskatchewan's budget returns to balance by 2019.”
Last year, Wall said the province would be able to balance the budget in 2017. The provincial budget will be handed down Wednesday afternoon.