Of the six candidates - Doug Horner, Gary Mar, Rick Orman, Doug Griffiths, Alison Redford and Ted Morton - the majority believe their provincial government has a problem with its spending, not revenue generation.
Five of the six hopefuls say they won't adopt or aren't considering any sort of tax hike, with Griffiths the lone candidate to suggest a review of taxes and revenue may be needed.
He points to the glaring gap between the roughly $12 billion in corporate and personal income taxes raised and the $39 billion in annual spending - including $15 billion on health care alone.
The rest of the cash comes largely from non-renewable resource dollars, federal transfers, and liquor and gambling revenues.
"We don't pay for the services we get. We rely on royalties and then we wonder why we ride this roller-coaster? Maybe we should review the tax system and pay for what we get. That's all I'm saying. That's why it's part of that whole big fiscal discussion we need to have," Griffiths said in an interview.
Indeed, a report released in the spring from the 12-member Premier's Council for Economic Strategy, chaired by former federal Tory cabinet minister David Emerson, said Alberta must stop using royalty revenues to fund day-to-day operations.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Doug Griffiths on Alberta's fiscal gap
From Alberta, Canada's richest province: Most Tory leadership hopefuls say taxes, royalties won't rise.