taxes

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With the defeat of the harmonized sales tax (HST), B.C.’s competitiveness will suffer a crushing blow, as the province experiences a rebirth of the provincial sales tax (PST). The unfortunate reality is that restoring the PST will lead to a reduction in investment and job creation. It now falls on Premier Christy Clark and her colleagues to show leadership and put forth a tax plan to mitigate the unrealized economic gains that the HST would have encouraged.


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After two years of heated debate, many British Columbians are still confused about how to vote in the current mail-in referendum on the HST. The choice before them is to either keep the HST—which the government has promised to reduce to 10 per cent from 12 per cent—or restore the old PST/GST system at a total rate of 12 per cent.

To help British Columbians decide, we have calculated the impact of restoring the PST/GST on the tax bill of BC families (with two or more individuals) at various income levels using the Fraser Institute’s Canadian Tax Simulator.

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Monday’s federal budget was all political spin. Like in March, when the 2011 budget was first introduced, the Conservatives dubiously titled it: A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.

But in reality, the Conservatives’ plan increases the federal tax take, increases government spending, and fails to provide a truly austere plan to balance the budget. It will, therefore, do little to improve economic growth and create jobs.

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Happy Tax Freedom Day! When Canadians return to work on Monday (June 6), they will finally be working for themselves. In other words, if we had to pay all our taxes up front, we would have to pay each and every dollar we earned from January 1 to June 5 to various levels of government.

Coincidentally, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is also scheduled to deliver the federal budget on Tax Freedom Day. All expectations for the budget are that it will look much like the March version, dubiously entitled A Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth.

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Happy Tax Freedom Day! Monday, British Columbians start working for themselves.  In other words, if we had to pay all our taxes up front, we would have to pay each and every dollar we earned from January 1 to June 5 to various levels of government.

This of course, translates into an awful lot of money. In fact, the average British Columbian family with two or more individuals will hand-over about $36,600 in taxes to their federal, provincial and local governments (42.7% of their income).