At a recent summit, some leading experts suggested that Alberta bring back a sales tax to make up for a shortfall in recent revenue.
While Premier Alison Redford told the press said that situation does not require this fix yet, some Dawson Creek businesses could stand to benefit if the sales tax does go through.
Currently, Alberta only has a federal sales tax worth five per cent. However, B.C. buyers must pay both this tax and an additional seven per cent in provincial sales taxes, bringing the total up to 12 per cent.
The Alberta government announced recently that they would experience a shortfall in their budget of up to $4 billion, according to a recent report issued by credit rating agency Moody’s.
Last weekend, the provincial government held an economic summit of various private and public figures in Calgary.
Many of those who attended, including university professors and investment banker George Gosbee, endorsed a provincial sales tax.
Redford seemed to reject the idea, however.
"I don’t think we’re anywhere near that at all," she is quoted as saying. "I think the fact that people are beginning to talk about it as an idea is a really important thing."
Should the idea of a sales tax come forward, local owners could benefit. In the past, many shop owners have said that they have lost potential customers to people who would travel out to nearby Grande Prairie to purchase goods there.
One of these people is Fern Hansen, the owner of Moms To Be, which sells items for infants.
She said that "a large draw" for potential Peace Region shoppers going to Grande Prairie is because Alberta does not have that additional sales tax that B.C. does.
"It's part of people's excuse," she said.
She said that currently, her store is not affected as much, because many of the children's or baby's items are not taxed as highly as other types of goods.
However, those who wish to go out and purchase items in Grande Prairie could also decide to pick up baby clothes or other things that her store also sells.
She also said that she does not see the B.C. government attempting to get rid of the provincial sales tax any time soon.
“It’s a tough argument to make.”