Bigger is not better - Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick beat out Quebec and Ontario for small business-friendly tax systems

CFIB releases second Small Business Provincial Tax Index

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada's two most populous provinces continue to lag behind most of the country when it comes to small business-friendly tax systems, according to an updated report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Nova Scotia also makes the bottom three.

The second edition of the Small Business Provincial Tax Index puts Ontario (#8), Nova Scotia (#9) and Québec (#10) at the bottom, while Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick hold down the top three spots. The report examines how the provinces stack up against one another by examining 53 indicators in five major areas of tax policy: premiums and payroll taxes; sales and excise taxes; corporate income taxes; personal income taxes; and property taxes.

"A complicated and costly tax system burdens small business owners, and is a barrier to economic growth and job creation," said report author Marvin Cruz. "The Index is meant to give jurisdictions a sense of how small business-friendly their tax systems are."

The provinces received the following scores on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is worst and 10 is best:

Province 2013 Rank   2013 Index Score   2009 Rank
Alberta 1   8.53   1
Saskatchewan 2   7.01   3
New Brunswick 3   6.98   2
Newfoundland and Labrador 4   6.17   6
Prince Edward Island 5   5.90   7
Manitoba 6   5.67   5
British Columbia 7   5.65   4
Ontario 8   5.59   9
Nova Scotia 9   5.22   8
Quebec 10   3.97   10

Alberta and Quebec, which were best and worst by wide margins, were also at the top and bottom of the index when CFIB last ranked the provinces in 2009. Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island showed the largest improvements over their 2009 rankings, each moving up two positions, from 6th to 4th and 7th to 5th respectively. British Columbia, meanwhile, dropped from 4th to 7th position.

"Small business owners consistently tell us that complicated, costly tax systems are the biggest obstacle to growth," added CFIB president Dan Kelly. "Yet as we celebrate small business month, some governments are contemplating new taxes for infrastructure, prescription drugs or recycling and many finance ministers are pushing for a hike to the grand-daddy of payroll taxes - CPP/QPP premiums."

To view the full report, Ranking Provincial Tax Systems in Canada: CFIB's 2013 Small Business Provincial Tax Index, please visit

CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please call Gisele Lumsden at 416-222-8022 or by email at

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Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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