Taxes and tax cuts

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In our report Progressive Tax Options for BC, we present many possible scenarios for reforming our tax system to increase revenues and make the system more fair. These images illustrate three of these scenarios. Click on the images below for larger versions.
During November 2012, Europe erupted in anti-austerity demonstrations, with protestors clashing violently with police in Spain and Portugal, where general strikes were declared. Millions of EU workers participated in the demonstrations, which have spread to Italy, France, and Belgium. Greece has also been paralyzed by many intermittent strikes over the past three years, understandably so since it is one of the countries most brutally hammered by the austerity measures imposed by the European Union.
This brief was submitted on April 5, 2013 to the House of Commons Finance Committee for the hearing on Bill M-315. It was prepared by Dr. Christine Saulnier, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Nova Scotia Office. Cette information est disponible en français: Mémoire présenté au Comité permanent des finances de la Chambre des communes sur la motion M-315.
This study finds that ad-hoc tax changes over the last two decades have seriously weakened the redistributive role of Canada’s tax system at a time when market inequalities call for more, not less, redistribution. The authors present a framework for a progressive tax reform strategy and recommend the establishment of a Fair Tax Commission to examine how federal taxes and transfers work together as a system and make recommendations for changes.
Municipalities (villages, towns, and even big cities) across Canada have major financial problems – their tax base is (1) inadequate for their responsibilities or for the needs of their citizens, AND (2) almost entirely dependent on the revenues from property taxes. No one is happy with the property tax.
British Columbians are being inundated with government ads trumpeting that we have the lowest taxes in Canada. But BC’s low taxes are nothing to boast about. They’ve starved key services of needed funds and left many of our social and environmental needs unmet. And the kicker is that we’ve very little to show for it. Lower taxes have failed to deliver on their economic promise. BC’s economic performance, job creation and business investment levels are all around the middle of the pack compared to other provinces, and no better than when BC’s taxes were higher.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has been analysing the City’s operating budget for several years now. We fully understand the challenges council faces: lack of revenues; a series of federal governments that steadfastly refuse to help eliminate the infrastructure deficit; a rapidly changing population with different needs; and since 2008, a sluggish global economy. These circumstances do not make for an easy job at budget time.