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Page added on November 30, 2006

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Think tank says Alberta should reap more oil royalties

Despite soaring oil profits, Albertans have seen their share of returns from their own natural resources drop by more than 30 per cent over the past decade, says a report released Wednesday.

The study, produced by the Pembina Institute, concludes the federal government has forfeited up to $1.65 billion in tax revenues because of measures set up to help struggling oil companies in the 1990s.
“At the end of the day, it’s about whether these companies need the federal support, which they don’t. They’re profitable,” said Amy Taylor, an economist who co-authored the report for the environmental think-tank.

“The support may have been justified in the early days, but they are no longer.”

Taylor said oilsands companies are taking advantage of measures allowing them to write off startup costs and avoid income taxes on projects that aren’t yet generating profits.

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