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  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 Federal Budget Analysis February 14, 2018
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis Some baby steps for dad and big steps forward for women, by Kate McInturff (CCPA) An ambition constrained budget, by David Macdonald (CCPA) Five things […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CED in Manitoba - The Video January 29, 2018
    Community Economic Development in Manitoba - nudging capitalism out of the way?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • With regional management BC’s iconic forest industry can benefit British Columbians rather than multinational corporations January 17, 2018
    Forests are one of the iconic symbols of British Columbia, and successive governments and companies operating here have largely focussed on the cheap, commodity lumber business that benefits industry. Former provincial forestry minister Bob Williams, who has been involved with the industry for five decades, proposes regional management of this valuable natural resource to benefit […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Agrium Halves Potash Royalties

Agrium reports that it paid half as much to the people of Saskatchewan in the second quarter as it had in the same quarter of last year. The company’s quarterly “potash profit and capital tax” payment dropped to $8 million from $15 million a year ago.

Agrium’s only potash mine is in Saskatchewan. The value of its potash sales has barely changed: $246 million in the second quarter compared to $259 million a year ago. As a percentage of sales, “potash profit and capital tax” fell to just 3% from 6%.

Agrium notes “a reduction in potash profit tax in 2012 due to deductions from the taxable base for investment related to our Vanscoy expansion project.” That refers to the Saskatchewan government allowing potash companies to immediately write off 120% of investment from profits before paying any potash production tax on them.

Given that Saskatchewan’s resource surcharge (“capital tax”) is 3% of sales and Agrium paid only that amount, the implication is that it paid (almost) no potash production tax. The company also pays Crown royalties, which might bring the province’s total return up to 5% or 6%.

The provincial government should collect a better return for the people of Saskatchewan, who own the resource. In particular, why are we allowing potash companies to write off more than 100% of the amount they actually invest?

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