EDITORIAL: Average incomes up, but government taking it back

This year’s annual Tax Freedom Day is like an exercise in treading water. You’re both ahead and you’re behind.

Here’s how.

Every year the Fraser Institute calculates how much of your income goes to taxes. Not just income taxes, but the full tally, including sales taxes, gas taxes, carbon taxes and more.

This year’s Tax Freedom Day falls on June 10 — meaning if you paid your taxes entirely up front, all of your working hours until that day would be spent bankrolling the taxman.

As a percentage of average income, that means 43.6% of family income is spent on taxes. Nearly half.

June 10 is the same day it was on last year. Does this mean our governments finally smartened up and held the line, declining to raise your taxes for once?

Nope. Not a chance. Taxes on average went up 3.1%. But the Canadian family saw an average income gain of 3.3%.

It’s great to hear Canadians are bringing in just a little bit more. The economy did well in 2017 and it’s good to hear Canadians on average shared in the spoils.

But government clearly got a whiff of this minor prosperity and reached in to grab it back for themselves. The gains we made were negated by tax increases. We’re left treading water. Even when you think you’re getting ahead, the government tries to drag you back down under.

Once again, Alberta leads the pack as the land of the most tax-free, with its tax freedom date coming in at May 22. Meanwhile, Newfoundland & Labrador have their taxpayers working overtime until June 26.

It’s important for policymakers to think about taxation in the way the Fraser Institute has framed it. Canadians are working almost half the year just to finance government.

Sure, in exchange for some of that money we receive public services we rely on — like primary infrastructure and health care.

Yet whenever someone proposes a new expense that isn’t entirely necessary, whenever a politician advocates some new tax or levy or fee, they need to think about the very real human cost that they’re imposing on Canadian families.

Fiscal responsibility and prudent management of the public purse is key to real freedom and a better life for taxpayers.

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies

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