News / Calgary

Albertans calling for reversal of changes to Alberta’s Charitable Donations Tax Credit

Thousands of Albertans have taken to the web to express their distaste for changes to the Alberta’s Charitable Donations Tax Credit contained in the recent provincial budget.

The budget would roll back the CDTC from 21 per cent to 12.75 per cent on donations over $200, offering the Alberta government an expected savings of $90 million annually.

The Albertans 4 Giving petition has already been signed by more than 3,000 people and has blown past its original goal of 1,000 signatures.

“The goal of this is to get as many signatories to show to policy makers that this is something that Albertans’ take seriously,” said Brad Tennant, petition founder.

Describing himself as an Albertan with a “political backbone,” he said the petition was rooted in his provincial pride as he felt the change was “against common sense,” especially in a province with a charitable reputation.

Alongside the signatures, he said he’s also hoping to create a base of people who are willing to oppose the change during — and after — the election, when the budget is before the legislature.

On Wednesday, Premier Jim Prentice said the decision on the credit is one the province "will watch closely."

"No one wants to see a reduction in charitable giving, particularly in the situation that we are in," said Prentice.

"The Minister of Finance and I will watch it closely to make sure these changes do not result in a reduction of charitable giving. If they do, we will reassess it and change it.”

Lucy Miller, president and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area, said the fact the charity has gained so much momentum in such a short time shows that Albertans “are really committed to the not-for-profit sector.”

However, while Miller expressed concern the change could result in fewer donations to organizations like the United Way, she’s going to wait before she puts her support behind the call for reversal.

“I think it’s premature,” she said.

“I’m waiting to see the impact of the change and … I’m waiting to see if the change really happens because it doesn’t go into effect until 2016 and it’s part of a budget that hasn’t been passed yet.”

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