Under the Progressive Conservative Government, a fantastic document existed on the Treasury and Finance website which detailed the socio-economic demographics for every riding in Alberta. The NDP has recently released the updated version based on the 2016 census and it is enlightening.
The numbers are based on 2015 before the recession hit Alberta hardest but the interactive map offers a very good picture of which areas of the province would benefit most from the UCP’s proposed return to a flat tax. Many will recall that the NDP moved to a progressive tax system in 2015 which changed the rate of tax for those making over $130,000 from 10% to 12%. Jason Kenney’s proposal would decrease the taxes on those individuals back to 10%.
Interestingly, in 2015, only one electoral district had a median income over $130,000; Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. The median income around the province was a high of $80,000 – for men. Women enjoyed a high median of just under $50,000.
Another picture emerges from the household income variant which may still not qualify for a tax cut but allows us to get a better idea where those less populated higher income earners live. The regions are not really surprising; Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo comes out on top once again but there are a lot more regions sitting at a median household income of $75,000 – $120,000 like Strathcona-Sherwood Park, Chestermere-Strathmore, Calgary Lougheed, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Red Deer North, St. Albert, Edmonton Whitemud and more.
Even though it includes all household income, the important thing to look at is the distribution and remember that a median income is the midpoint; it is the middle number in between all numbers in the data. The midpoint (half of the population above and below) can be off somewhat but in a set of approximately 20-25,000 numbers, it is fairly accurate.
The moral of the story is that if you’ve pinned your hopes on a JK tax cut, you may as well call it what it really is – a joke.
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2015 Median Income: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180313/t003a-eng.htm