It’s an exponential escalation from the $511-million surplus forecast when the provincial budget was introduced in February.
The province is riding another wave of financial prosperity due to high oil and gas prices, along with higher royalty payouts from maturing oilsands projects.
Kenney said the windfall would allow the province to re-index non-refundable income tax brackets and tax bracket thresholds to inflation starting this year.
He said that means the average Albertan would see a $300 benefit and a $300 million cost to the treasury.
A recent study by the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy says the move effectively forced Albertans to pay almost $647 million more in taxes from 2020 to 2022.
“We never wanted to de-index the system in the first place,” Kenney said in his video statement.
“But we had to get the province’s finances in order and do so without cutting health care.”
West Texas has been much higher than that, averaging more than US$100 a barrel over the first six months of this year, and now sits in the mid-$80 range.
Last year’s budget, crafted during the economic doldrums of the COVID-19 pandemic, predicted an $18-billion deficit but ultimately ended up as a surplus of almost $4 billion.