Quality education in Alberta is everyone’s responsibility and should be funded only through income tax. It is time to eliminate the education tax from residential and commercial properties.
In Alberta 69% of education funding comes from general revenue and 31% comes from property owners via the education tax portion of municipal property taxes. This is unfair to property owners and creates far greater negative consequences than it is worth.
Education taxes on property hurt people on fixed income such as seniors. Property taxes increase year after year at a higher rate than income. The burden to people on fixed incomes becomes greater. If education was funded entirely by general revenue, all Albertans would pay their share based on income and not on property value.
Families who have cottages must pay for the education taxes twice. It can certainly be argued that if a family can afford two homes then they can afford to pay two education tax bills. However, their is certainly a case to be made on why property owners should have to pay education tax twice. The opposite argument can be made for families who have multiple income earners in the same household but only pay education taxes once. Children are leaving home later than ever, often making large incomes while still living at home.
Price Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland have already eliminated Education taxes from residential properties. Other provinces such as Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are reducing the education tax on property presumably with the intention of eliminating it as well. British Columbia provides education tax relief to seniors and eliminates it altogether at a certain age.
It is time to open a new debate on how Alberta funds our education system.