At least for me, taxes are one of those things that you pay and then try to forget. Yet, it does feel like every year I’m paying my various governments more and more. And they do get higher — property taxes usually increase every year, the more my salary rises the more money gets taken off the top; I’ve never calculated how much more I’m paying year after year, though, mostly because I’m afraid to know the answer.
And I had good reason to be scared — the Fraser Institute, a fiscally conservative think tank, ran those numbers and found that taxes have increased faster than any other household expense.
From 1961 to today Canadians’ total tax bill jumped 1,624%, while housing expenses climbed by 1,198%, food by 559% and clothes by 526%. Last year the average family earned $69,175 and paid $28,878 in taxes, or 41.7% of income — 49 years ago total taxes accounted for 33.5% of our income.
Ok, that’s a lot. The survey took everything into account, from income tax and sales taxes to other costs like import duties and taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Not everything would apply to me (I don’t smoke), and because we can also can take advantage of various tax breaks, including what we get back from RRSP contributions, things may not be as bleak as the Fraser Institute makes it sound. Still, after hearing this, I’m definitely not going to calculate how much tax I pay in a year anytime soon.