News and Insights

Alberta Budget 2009

Tax Development Apr 09, 2009

On Tuesday, April 7, 2009, Finance Minister Iris Evans delivered the Alberta 2009 budget that included a deficit of $4.7 billion, its largest deficit and the first in 16 years. 

Included in the budget announcement were several indirect taxation changes.

Tobacco Tax
Alberta has a Tobacco Reduction Strategy designed to reduce tobacco use among Albertans. To accomplish this goal the budget proposes to increases tobacco taxes effective, 12:01 a.m. April 8, 2009, as noted below:

  • cigarettes by $3 to $40 per carton;
  • loose tobacco will rise by 11.5 cents to 30 cents per gram; and
  • the taxable price of cigars will rise to 103% from 95%.

Property Tax
The education property tax rates will be reduced by roughly 16% in 2009, the 16th consecutive year these rates have declined. Specifically, the decrease is from $4.04 to 3.39 per $1,000 of equalized assessment for residential/farm property and from $5.94 to $4.98 per $1,000 of equalized assessment for non-residential property.

Liquor mark-up
The budget also proposed increases in the liquor markups as follows:

  • a dozen beer from a major brewer increases by $1.30;
  • a 750 millilitre bottle of wine by at least 75 cents; and
  • a 750 millilitre bottle of most spirits by $2.85.

Full details on the Alberta 2009 budget are available on the province’s web site at: