Manitoba to cut payroll tax in Wednesday’s budget

The Manitoba government says it’s going to reduce its so-called “payroll tax” in Wednesday’s provincial budget.

The tax, formally called the health and post-secondary education levy, applies to employers with annual salaries of more than $1.25 million.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the government is going to raise that base to $1.5 million as of next January — the first increase since 2007.

Critics of the payroll tax say it stifles job-creation and makes Manitoba less competitive than Saskatchewan and Alberta, which don’t have a similar tax.

The Progressive Conservative government has already announced a one-point drop in the provincial sales tax for July 1, which will be partially offset by a new $25 per tonne carbon tax.

Opposition parties have accused the government of focusing on tax and spending cuts at the expense of proper funding for health care and education.

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