Taxes versus the Necessities of Life: The Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2017 Edition

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  • The Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2016. Including all types of taxes, that bill has increased by 2,006% since 1961.
  • Taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family: expenditures on shelter increased by 1,527%, clothing by 677%, and food by 639% from 1961 to 2016.
  • The 2,006% increase in the tax bill has also greatly outpaced the increase in the Consumer Price Index (718%), 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 (42.5%) than it does on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing combined (37.4%). By comparison, 33.5% of the average family’s income went to pay taxes in 1961 while 56.5% went to basic necessities.
  • In 2016, the average Canadian family earned an income of $83,105 and paid total taxes equaling $35,283 (42.5%). 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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