Canadians Paying Larger Portion of Income in Taxes

par Andrew Rickard | August 18 2014 02:05PM

The Fraser Institute says that the Canadians are paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than they were at the beginning of the 1960s.

In a report issued on August 12, the Fraser Institute notes that in 1961, the average family earned approximately $5,000 and spent 33.5% or $1,675 in taxes while the remaining 56.5% went to things like food, shelter, and clothing. In 2013, the study finds that the average Canadian family earned $77,381 and paid $32,369 in taxes (or 41.8% of income) compared to 36.1% for food, shelter and clothing combined.

The total tax amount calculated by the Fraser Institute represents both visible and hidden taxes paid to federal, provincial and local governments. This includes income taxes, payroll taxes, health taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, import taxes, alcohol and tobacco taxes, as well as other items. Even after accounting for inflation over the period, the report says that the average tax bill has increased by 147%.

“While there’s no doubt that taxes help fund important government services, the real issue is the amount of taxes that governments take compared to what we get in return,” comments Charles Lammam, resident scholar in economic policy at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the report. “With almost 42 per cent of income going to taxes, Canadians should ask whether they get the best value for their tax dollars.”