If you thought you were paying too much in taxes you may be correct. A new study published Thursday shows that the average Canadian pays more in taxes annually than on basic necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter.
The Fraser Institute, a public policy think-tank, released a report titled “Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2012,” which highlights that the average Canadian household is already paying more taxes than on any other basic necessity.
According to the report, the cost of food has risen 518 percent, clothing by 500 percent and shelter by 1,185 percent over the past 50 years. But there is one infinite aspect of our daily lives that has increased more than any other in the same period: taxes. The average household’s tax bill has soared 1,738 percent.
“Taxes from all levels of government make up the single largest expenditure facing Canadian families,” said Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute associate director of tax and budget policy research, in a press release accompanying the report. “In fact, the total tax bill has grown more rapidly than any other major item in an average family’s annual budget since 1961.”
It also found that the 1,738 percent increase is more than the 663 percent jump in Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) – a measurement of the average price of consumer goods and services.
How did Fraser come to its astronomical conclusion? The institute calculated the total tax bill by adding up various taxes at all three levels of government, such as the income tax, sales tax, Employment Insurance, hidden taxes, amusement taxes and many, many others that Canadians pay everywhere they go.
In 2011, the group found that the average family’s income has increased significantly than 50 years ago, but also its tax bill. Last year, the average Canadian family income was $74,233, but paid $30,792 (41.5 percent) in taxes.
Don’t think that there will be any respite in sight. The federal government and most provincial governments are running deficits, which mean that the current level of taxes does not cover the budget. This means taxes are inevitably going to spike for future generations.
“These deficits are essentially deferred taxes into the future since the shortfalls must ultimately be repaid by working Canadians,” added Lammam. “If we include government deficits in the calculations, the total tax bill for the average Canadian family is actually $33,455 in 2011, not $30,792. This means the average Canadian family faces a future tax bill of an extra $2,663.”
This report comes a few weeks after a poll by the Broadbent Institute found that Canadians are willing to pay “slightly more” in taxes.