Government Spending & Taxes

— Jan 5, 2017
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The End of the Alberta Tax Advantage finds that corporate and personal income tax hikes in Alberta last year have wiped away the crucial tax advantage that helped fuel the province’s economic prosperity for years. Corporate tax rates are now lower in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and Alberta’s top combined marginal personal income tax rate went from the lowest in North America to the 16th highest among all province and states.

— Nov 17, 2016
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One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta

One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta finds that Alberta’s deficits and mounting debt are largely the result of undisciplined spending and fiscal mismanagement, not just a drop in energy prices. By comparison, Texas controlled spending during the energy boom of 2004 to 2014, and, partly as a result, ran five straight surpluses between fiscal years 2009 and 2013. Alberta, which increased spending at a greater rate than Texas, ran four deficits during that same five-year period, and has continued to run deficits in the years since, with the exception of a small surplus in 2014/2015. Further, Alberta doesn’t expect to balance the budget again until at least 2024.

— Sep 29, 2016
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This submission examines BC’s performance relative to other provinces in three key areas of taxation (business taxes, property taxes, and personal income taxes) and provides reform options for each area.

— Sep 1, 2016
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Education Spending and Public Student Enrolment in Canada

Education Spending and Public School Enrolment in Canada, 2016 Edition, finds that spending on public schools in Canada has increased dramatically over the past decade even as the number of students has declined. Across the country, spending on public schools increased more than 40 per cent, from $44.3 billion in 2004/2005 to nearly $62.6 billion in 2013/2014, a decade that saw a 4.2 per cent decline in the number of students enrolled in public schools in Canada. On a per-student basis, spending increased from $9,876 to $12,427 (after accounting for price changes), a dramatic 25.8 per cent increase over the same time.

— Aug 23, 2016
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Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2016, finds that the average Canadian family spends more on taxes than on housing, food and clothing combined with 42 per cent of income going to taxes, and 38 per cent being spent on the basic necessities of life. The annual study tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian household from 1961 to 2015, and looks at both visible and hidden taxes that families pay to the federal, provincial and local governments, including income, payroll, sales, property, health, fuel and alcohol taxes, and more.

— Aug 11, 2016
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Ontario vs. Michigan: Policy Lessons from the Wolverine State notes that while Michigan has revived its manufacturing sector since the recession, Ontario's manufacturing sector continues to struggle. Michigan's rebound is due largely to several significant policy reforms, which include replacing the complex Michigan Business Tax (MBT) with a simpler corporate income tax of six per cent, implementing sharp budget cuts followed by a period of limited spending growth, and the introduction of “right-to-work” legislation.

— Jun 7, 2016
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This year Tax Freedom Day falls on June 7.  Tax Freedom Day measures the total yearly tax burden imposed on Canadian families by all levels of government:  If you had to pay all your taxes up front, you’d give government every dollar you earned before June 7. This year, the average Canadian family (with two or more people) will pay $45,167 in total taxes or 42.9 per cent of its annual income.

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