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When the Ontario government taxes the rich, everyone calls it taxing the rich. When Alberta does it, it's called helping out.

To be sure, the tax schemes are different. But the idea's the same: If you earn more, you pay more, and help the government out of a fiscal bind.

"We are asking people who can pay a little more to pay a little more," Alberta Finance Minister Robin Campbell said Thursday as he unveiled a sweeping overhaul of a regime that was the envy of every taxpayer in the country.

There was an outcry when Ontario did it.

Curiously, you'll get a lot of hits if you Google "tax the rich Ontario" today, but very little that's new if you search "tax the rich Alberta."

As The Globe and Mail's Justin Giovannetti and Carrie Tait report, Mr. Campbell's budget was short on money and long on levies, fees and taxes.

To the tune of some 60 that are new or higher, aimed at boosting revenue by $1.5-billion in the next year.

Gone is the 10-per-cent flat income tax for anyone who earns more than $100,000 a year.

Beginning in January, it jumps to 10.5 per cent, with added hikes of one-half a percentage point in 2017 and the year after.

Then there's a temporary initiative that affects people who earn more than $250,000. They get another half-point tacked on.

That will bring their tax rate to 12 per cent when it's all phased in, before falling back to 11.5 per cent after three years to match the rate paid by those earning above $100,000.

The last Ontario budget put the tax rate for those earning $150,000 to $220,000 at 12.16 per cent, and for those above the latter at 13.16 per cent.

Alberta's new brackets will bring in an extra $330-million in the 2016-17 fiscal year and some $730-million by 2018-19.

There's also a health care measure valued at $200 a year for those who earn between $50,000 and $70,000. If you bring in more than $130,000, it's $1,000 a year.

There's still no sales tax, which I envy, but people who smoke, drink, drive, run red lights and get married are all being hit with higher levies.

There are also measures to help lower-income earners.

"If there's good news here, it's that Alberta is able to raise $1.5-billion in tax revenues, yet remain in a very favourable tax position versus the other provinces - and it can move much further still should oil prices not rebound as expected," said senior economist Robert Kavcic of BMO Nesbitt Burns.

Alberta's fiscal plan is meant to right a province slammed by the collapse in oil prices, with a projected 2015-16 deficit of $5-billion and no return to balance for a few years.

It's going to borrow a lot more, but still with the goal of holding on to its triple-A rating.

At the same time, it wants to ensure its longer-term plan will lessen the exposure to oil.

"Faced with slumping revenues from the sharp drop in oil prices, Alberta chose not to dramatically cut spending in the near term but instead focused on longer-term solutions to make the province's finances less susceptible to volatility in oil prices," Joanna Zapior and Andrew Grantham of CIBC World Markets said in a report on the budget.

"That decision was made possible by a strong starting position as the only province currently with a net asset position."

It doesn't appear that the province's coveted triple-A credit rating is much at risk, by the way.

"Returning to budgetary balance will be difficult," Kathrin Heitmann, the lead Alberta analyst for Moody's Investors Service, said in a statement.

"However, Alberta has entered this oil price downturn with exceptionally good fiscal and financial flexibility, providing the province with a sufficient cushion to withstand a period of weaker credit metrics."

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