Taxes versus the Necessities of Life: The Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2015 Edition

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The Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2014. Including all types of taxes, that bill has increased by 1,886% since 1961.

Taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family: expenditures on shelter increased by 1,366%, clothing by 819%, and food by 561% from 1961 to 2014.

The 1,886% increase in the tax bill has also greatly outpaced the increase in the Consumer Price Index (697%), which measures the average price that consumers pay for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health and personal care, education, and other items.

The average Canadian family now spends more of its income on taxes (42.1%) than it does on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing combined (36.6%). By comparison, 33.5% of the average family’s income went to pay taxes in 1961 while 56.5% went to basic necessities.

In 2014, the average Canadian family earned an income of $79,010 and paid total taxes equaling $33,272 (42.1%). In 1961, the average family had an income of $5,000 and paid a total tax bill of $1,675 (33.5%).

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