Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Taxes and Tax Cuts'

No Need to Panic over Moody’s Credit Rating for Ontario

July 8th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

There was a lot of chatter about Ontario’s credit rating last week when, in a not-so-surprising move, Moody’s Corporation changed Ontario’s debt outlook from stable to negative.

Let’s be clear, this was not a downgrade in the credit rating, as some of have suggested. It’s more like the equivalent of a sad face emoticon – one way a credit rating agency has to express displeasure.

It was a statement made one day before the newly elected provincial government was set to deliver its Speech from the Throne – a speech that didn’t waiver from the promises made during the provincial election campaign that yielded this government a majority mandate.

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Time to scrap this relic: Ontario’s 1999 Taxpayer Protection Act

June 24th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Ontario, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

It seems like every newly elected Premier in Ontario who wins on even a slightly progressive platform feels like the first step in office is to help the boys on Bay Street relax.

And so it is, perhaps, that Premier-elect Kathleen Wynne came out of the gates post-election with two primary (albeit mixed) messages: she’ll promote an activist government but “there’s no new money” for even modest raises in the public sector.

Here’s the thing: a broad swath of commentators agree Wynne managed to do the unexpected by securing a majority government.

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#voteON: What we should have been talking about

June 9th, 2014 · · Education, Employment and Labour, Health Care, Income Inequality, Ontario, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Uncategorized

The Ontario election is nearing its end and by Thursday night we will know the makeup of the next provincial government.

In some ways, this election featured a lot of substantive debate and policy discussion. For instance, a lot of focus was placed on the relative merit and credibility of the party platforms (and costing of those platforms).

On the other hand, a lot of important issues didn’t get much air time.

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Leitão’s Budget: Austerity in All but Name

June 6th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Environment, Quebec, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Both before the budget was tabled and during its presentation, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão spoke of “rigour” and “responsibility,” but never used the term “austerity.” Yet, this is truly an austerity budget: many government departments will be receiving less next year than they have this year. Here is a summary of the budget cuts:

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Who Really Benefits from Canada’s Tax Giveaways?

May 29th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Taxes and Tax Cuts

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Budget Office released their long awaited costing and distributional analysis of the tax measures implemented since the Harper government has been in power. In essence, they asked what is the cost of these tax cuts, who benefits, and to what degree.

The Price Tag of the Tax Cuts

The total cost of the tax cuts implemented by this government is $30.4 Billion in 2014 ($17.1B on the income tax side and $13.3B from the GST/HST cuts). This is in addition to the cuts to the federal corporate income tax, which the PBO report did not look at but Jim Stanford has estimated to cost around $13 billion in annual revenue.

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Ontario’s Corporate Taxes Need a Rethink Not Groupthink

May 21st, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

When it comes to attracting and supporting businesses in Ontario, there’s one thing missing from the election platforms of Ontario’s three main party leaders: an acknowledgement that tax cuts don’t work.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak promises a 30% cut to the corporate income tax rate in Ontario. The rate would decrease from 11.5% to 8%.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath promises to reduce the small business tax to 3% (it currently sits at 4.5%) and offer a $5,000 tax credit to business for each job created in Ontario.

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Quebec’s Budget: Setting the Table for Either a Combative Government in the Face of a Catastrophe or Breathing a Sigh of Relief

May 13th, 2014 · · public services, Quebec, Taxes and Tax Cuts

The day following his election as Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard ordered a report on the state of the province’s public finances from Luc Godbout and Claude Montmarquette, two economists who have advocated for tax cuts and fee hikes in recent years. This unusual procedure led to the usual conclusion, which has recurred every time power has changed hands over the last 15 years: there is a gaping hole in public finances left by the previous administration. This entire masquerade is obviously put on to prepare Quebecers for the budget that the government will table in June. Let’s see how a Finance Minister creates the political space needed to act however he pleases.

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Budget 2014: Baby steps to renewing revenue health

May 1st, 2014 · · Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

This year’s budget forecasts a deficit of $12.5 Billion. It commits to a smattering of public sector investments over and above the previously committed spending and proposes tax increases totaling $900 million in additional revenue this budget year.

Tax increases include:

  • a 1 percentage point income tax increase on income between $150,000 and $220,000 and a 2 percentage point increase on income between $220,000 and $514,000. This is a change that comes on the heels of a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that recommends Canada tax high income earners or risk exacerbating the growing income gap between the rich and the rest that is currently the second fastest growing among OECD nations. Total additional revenue: $635 million

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Ontario Budget: Not Quite A May Day Budget

May 1st, 2014 · · Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

You may be forgiven for feeling like you already know what’s in today’s Ontario budget – it had more leaks than a sieve in the weeks leading up to budget day.

There weren’t really any big surprises in the budget, but reading it in its entirety makes one thing crystal clear: the Wynne government is getting election battle ready.

This is very much an election budget.

It gives multiple nods to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s insistence that middle-income Ontarians be spared tax and fee increases.

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Why the New York Times “richest middle class” title may not be all good news

April 22nd, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Taxes and Tax Cuts

This morning the New York Times published a study on American income inequality and the middle class which reported that America’s middle class is no longer the ‘world’s richest’ – Canada’s middle class is. Not surprisingly, this sent twitter abuzz.

According to the authors, “Middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind [the United States] in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. …. Median income in Canada pulled into a tie with median United States income in 2010 and has most likely surpassed it since then.”

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