Taxes versus the Necessities of Life: The Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2020 edition

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  • The Canadian Consumer Tax Index tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2019. Including all types of taxes, that bill has increased by 2,226% since 1961.
  • Taxes have grown much more rapidly than any other single expenditure for the average Canadian family: expenditures on shelter in¬creased by 1,641%, clothing by 793%, and food by 663% from 1961 to 2019.
  • The 2,226% increase in the tax bill has also greatly outpaced the increase in the Consumer Price Index (766%), which measures the aver¬age 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 (42.6%) than it does on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing combined (36.2%). By compari¬son, 33.5% of the average family’s income went to pay taxes in 1961 while 56.5% went to basic necessities.
  • In 2019, the average Canadian family earned an income of $91,535 and paid total taxes equal¬ing $38,963 (42.6%). 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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