Taxes, Etc

Gotta keep this short. I’m late for a reception….

There was some kafuffle a while back when Statistics Canada released its revenue analysis and concluded that the top 10% of earners in Canada pay more than half of the taxes. This news was greeted among the Right as justification for its policies of reducing the tax burden on the rich. Finally, someone has taken the time to look at these numbers more closely. Prof. Neil Brooks of Osgoode Hall Law School just released his analysis of these data, discussed here. His actual report can be accessed here (in PDF). Some highlights:

  • All those earning more than $64,500 were considered by StatsCan to be top earners. This is a fairly low ceiling.
  • This low ceiling is created by StatsCan including zero-income earners in its analyses.
  • all Canadians pay about 30-35% in taxes, regardless of their income. So there already exists a flat tax in Canada.
  • while the “top earners” are paying 52% of total tax revenue now, compared to 46% in 1990, this is not because they are being taxed more heavily, but because they are making more money than they did in 1990, relative to the low-end earners. In other words, the rich are getting richer while the poor are not, and this is what is manifesting in these supposedly skewed tax statistics.

And let’s not forget some of the basics. If you’re making $100,000 and pay 30% in taxes, you’re still living on $70,000 net. If you’re making $20,000 a year, you’re going to have to live on $14,000. Sure, the rich appear to be paying more in taxes, but they are also retaining a heck of a lot more, as well.

Me go now.