Public outcry forces Prentice to restore full tax credit for charitable donations

May 4, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON – Public outcry over the provincial government's decision to reduce its tax credit for charitable donations has been heard, loud and clear.

Premier Jim Prentice announced April 21 that his government has reversed its spring budget plan to cut the credit to 12.75 per cent from 21 per cent for donations of more than $200.

Prentice said he has reconsidered the budget reduction to the charitable donation tax credit and a Progressive Conservative government will maintain the previous rate, after hearing directly from Albertans during the campaign for the May 5 election.

"It's become clear that this choice was more than simply unpopular," said Prentice. "Rather, Albertans have told me it was seen as contrary to our values as Albertans – values of generosity, community and looking out for one another."

The tax credit cut had drawn the ire of charitable organizations.

Gerry Turcotte, president of St. Mary's University in Calgary, had held out hope the government would reconsider the decision to cut the tax credit.

"This is an important reversal acknowledging that charitable organizations need stability, especially in uncertain times," said Turcotte.

"I could not imagine any scenario where reducing the charitable tax benefit advantages society in any way. The decision to maintain current levels is the fairest outcome."

Maintaining the 21 per cent tax credit will not affect the government's timeline for balancing the provincial budget, Prentice said.