GREEN FISCAL AND TAX POLICIES

1. Public Bank

Based on North Dakota’s public bank and other examples, a Green government would explore how a public banking system could work in New Brunswick and, if appropriate, bring forward legislation to make public banking a reality in New Brunswick.

2. NB Saving Bonds

A Green government would establish a New Brunswick savings bond instrument. Any institution that now sells Canada Savings Bonds would be permitted to sell the provincial bonds, but charitable organizations would also have this ability.

3. Public Accounts

A Green government would establish a Public Accounts Commission to a) determine which government expenditures should be classified as investments (e.g., early childhood development, education, illness prevention, culture, and protection of agricultural lands and natural areas, etc.) and which are current expenses; b) examine how the public accounts could be changed to separate investments from expenses; c) devise ways of financing those investments that do not impinge on the level of services needed currently; and d) establish indicators by which the return on investment can be measured annually.

4. Sovereign Wealth

A Green government would introduce a Sovereign Wealth Fund where all non-renewable royalties would be deposited, with the NB government transferring only 5% in any one year to general revenues.

5. Royalty Rates

A Green government would increase the royalty rates for all non-renewable resources in the province to capture their full economic value and reject the reduction of royalties to accelerate the exploitation of the resource.

6. Natural Resource Management

The provincial use of natural resources must take into account the planet’s ability to renew them or, if non-renewable, to compensate for their depletion. A Green government would

  • eliminate subsidies for economic activities that are energy- and raw materials-intensive;

  • replace or supplement gross domestic product (GDP) as the sole measure of progress with an alternative such as the Genuine Progress Index (GPI) which accounts for the depletion of natural capital; and

  • adjust natural resource royalties or establish a resource depletion tax, to compensate for rates of resource depletion and which distinguishes between renewable and non- renewable resources.

7. Fiscal Sustainability and HST Reform

 A Green government would reform the HST to remove or reduce taxes on necessities and increase taxes on luxury items.

8. Corporate Income Tax

A Green government would:

  • raise corporate income tax to Nova Scotia levels;
  • offer tax rebates to companies that provide on-site daycare, healthy food and facilities for exercise and bicycle parking;
  • institute a range of “polluter pays” taxes, tolls and fees, the revenues from which will be invested in economic and infrastructure renewal and redesign to reduce pollution, including greenhouse gases, overall; and
  • establish a Rural and Small Towns Green Venture Capital Fund to support local green business start-ups and provide tax incentives and direct rebates to businesses and individuals investing in the low-carbon economy (e.g. installing solar hot water systems, refitting homes and businesses to conserve energy, or developing new low-carbon technologies).

9. Income Tax

A Green government would:

  • eliminate personal taxes on incomes near the low-income cut-off;
  • rescind the personal income tax cuts provided in the 2009 provincial budget on incomes of $35,000 and over, restoring nearly $500 million in provincial revenues over three years and then that amount annually;
  • add a new higher tax rate for incomes over $120,000 per annum. This would shift resources from savings leaving the province to jobs for public provision.

10. Property Tax

A Green government would:

  • reform the residential property tax system to make it more fair and predictable by de-linking the assessment from the real estate market. This would be done by establishing a base assessment year (with some retroactivity) and from that point assessments would only increase if improvements were made to the home and property. Should the home be sold, the base assessment for the new owner would be adjusted according to the purchase price of the house;
  • reform rental unit property tax assessments by treating them as a primary residence, thereby reducing the cost of property taxes that are passed on to tenants in their rent. To ensure that the cost saving is passed on to tenants, rent control legislation would be implemented;

Because changes in the property tax assessment would result in reduction of revenue to municipalities, new revenue streams must be made available to municipalities. For example, there could be a royalty- and carbon levy-sharing arrangement between the province and municipalities for resources harvested or carbon-based fuels produced within their boundaries. Tax policy could be changed to allow municipalities to issue Municipal Savings Bonds for capital projects.

11. Moderate Consumption Sales Tax

A Green government would establish sales tax differentials for durable goods and essentials versus non-essential and disposable goods; adjust tax policy to capture profits made by big box retailers operating within the province;  and establish product stewardship programs for certain consumer goods, beginning with electronics, which a) establish a product disposal or recycling fee paid by the consumer; and b) require manufacturers and/or retailers to use that fee to ensure that the products are returned for recycling or safe disposal.

 11. Public Infrastructure

A Green government would:

  • ensure direct public ownership, both at the provincial and municipal levels, of critical public infrastructure; and end private-public partnership agreements for existing infrastructure.
  • support the current allocation of a portion of federal gas tax to municipalities and advocate for this to expand.

12. Auto Insurance

A Green government would create a public automobile insurance Crown corporation to replace the present system of private automobile insurance in New Brunswick.

 

Leader's Video Blog

Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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