Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Taxes and Tax Cuts'

Alternative Federal Budget vs. Income Splitting: Who benefits?

March 30th, 2015 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Federal Budget, Taxes and Tax Cuts

On March 19th, we released the 2015 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) and also marked the publication’s 20th anniversary. Like every year, the AFB includes practical measures to improve Canadian’s lives. For the past two years, we’ve been running our AFB through a sophisticated income inequality simulation to see how our budget would affect poverty and inequality in Canada. This analysis allows us to see who benefits and who doesn’t from various social programs and tax/transfer changes.

older updates 3 CommentsTags: ···

The high cost of eliminating the deficit

March 23rd, 2015 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Economy & Economic Indicators, Federal Budget, Poverty and Income Inequality

AFB2015_familyCanada’s federal government ran a deficit for nearly thirty years – from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. Successive Conservative and Liberal governments delivered programs, implemented economic and fiscal policies, and ran the country, without balancing the budget. The sky did not fall. The fabric of Canadian society did not unravel. Nobody fell off a fiscal cliff.

Where did the obsessive concern with a balanced federal budget come from and how did it gain such currency in the popular imagination?

older updates 1 CommentTags: ·····

Alberta has nation’s largest gender gap and it’s growing

March 6th, 2015 · · Alberta, Child Care, Economy & Economic Indicators, Gender Equality, Poverty and Income Inequality

In 1995, Canada made historic commitments to implement gender equality in all policies, programs, and laws when it adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. That same year saw the adoption in Canada of The Federal Plan for Gender Equality to secure gender equality in all aspects of social, political, legal, and economic life in Canada.

A new Parkland Institute report demonstrates that women in Alberta, who were early leaders in moving toward greater sex equality, had already begun losing ground relative to men for some years by the time these commitments were made in the mid-1990s.

older updates No CommentsTags: ······

Doubling TFSA Contributions Limits: Even Nastier than Income Splitting

March 2nd, 2015 · · Canada, Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians  as well as for the economy as a whole.

Let’s unpack the government’s arguments one by one:

older updates No CommentsTags: ··

Small business tax cuts in Canada: been there, done that

January 29th, 2015 · · Canada, Taxes and Tax Cuts

In the prelude to the 2015 federal election, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is talking job creation in Southwestern Ontario.

He’s promising more small business tax cuts and credits as his entry point. It’s the political norm these days to promote low business taxes, but the reality is small business tax cuts are already old hat. Here’s why:

About a year ago, Canada’s Department of Finance released a report outlining the changes in effective tax rates for small businesses, or Canadian controlled private corporations (CCPCs) as they are called in tax language, between 2000 and 2011.

older updates No CommentsTags: ·

Municipal headache

January 29th, 2015 · · Cities, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Municipal taxes. Their mere mention is enough to cause headaches for some. Throughout the year, we nearly forget that we help finance our own town or city. Then the tax bill pops up in our mailbox, and we open it with trembling hands, wondering about the magnitude of this year’s hike. This letter can put an end to many households’ home-owning project, mainly elderly and young families. Wages rarely follow the staggering rise in the price of real estate.

older updates No CommentsTags: ·

The downside of Canada’s love affair with small business

January 28th, 2015 · · Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

It is not difficult to understand the motivation behind the federal NDP’s decision to make a tax cut for small business a centerpiece of its pre-election policy roll out.red

As touted by what must be the most consistently effective political lobbying force in Canadian history, small business is perceived to be an important engine of economic growth and job creation.

And while supporting small business doesn’t have the easily identifiable upside that goes with investing in large-scale projects of multinational corporations that have big job numbers attached to them, it has the virtue of avoiding the red-faced problem when those big jobs go south.

older updates 1 CommentTags: ··

Toronto, you’re richer than you think

January 20th, 2015 · · Ontario, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Toronto’s budget season has begun in earnest, and it’s yielding a mix of the predictable “we can’t afford things” debate, along with some refreshing surprises.

Refreshing: Mayor John Tory is clearly signalling a desire to break from the recent past with the 2015 budget. His announcement on improvements to the TTC and his focus on the value of service improvements at his budget press conference this morning are a welcome breath of fresh air.

older updates No CommentsTags: ··

The case against a revenue-neutral carbon tax

January 16th, 2015 · · Energy Policy, Environment, Taxes and Tax Cuts

I’m a fan of carbon taxes, but increasingly I see the term “revenue-neutral” attached to it. Where I live, in BC, we have perhaps the most prominent example of a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and carbon tax advocates have come to promoting the BC model to other jurisdictions, such as Ontario, who are contemplating their own carbon tax. This includes the new EcoFiscal Commission, which endorses a naive view of markets – the magic of free markets is alive and well, and if only we could put a price on carbon to change marketplace incentives, all will be well.

older updates 1 CommentTags: ··

You say tomato, I say fish: or, why we we treat property taxes differently

October 9th, 2014 · · Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Recently, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business received some media attention for their report on the relationship between residential and business property taxes in Ontario.

While a step up from the norm (this report is based on some actual data as opposed to a survey of the views of its members) that the CFIB would whinge about taxes is not new, nor is the fact that their results are misleading and contradictory.

Essentially, the CFIB makes one point: that business (commercial and industrial) property tax is higher than residential property tax.

older updates No CommentsTags: ··