The leader of the Alberta Party says if he’s elected premier, he would support job creation in small- and medium-sized businesses by doubling the allowable tax deduction from $500,000 to $1 million.

All other aspects of the small business deduction would remain the same, including the existing small business tax rate of two per cent, Stephen Mandel said at a campaign event in Calgary on Tuesday.

Mandel says the policy is an acknowledgment that 70 per cent of new jobs are created by small- and medium-sized businesses.

“Let’s make sure they’re included in the opportunities in this province,” he said.

“They are the backbone of our economy.”

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The Alberta Party also promises to lower the general corporate tax rate from 12 per cent to 10 per cent.

The change would restore Alberta’s place as the most competitive jurisdiction in Canada on corporate tax rates, the party said in a release.

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The tax cuts would have a short-term budget impact in the first year of about $400 million, the party says.

It would pay for itself by its third year and by full implementation in 2023 it would generate an estimated $1.5 billion in additional annual revenue, while expanding the economy by $16 billion.

Earlier this month, Jason Kenney promised that a United Conservative Party government would reduce the corporate tax rate even lower, to eight per cent by 2022, making it the lowest in Canada.

Mandel said the Alberta Party would not roll back the increase to the minimum wage.

“I think that ship has sailed,” he said.

Mandel said there are other challenges faced by small- and medium-sized businesses — such as rising WCB costs, excessive regulations and new statutory holiday pay requirements — that could be addressed.

“So let’s work with them to find ways to do things better,” Mandel said.

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