The smoke and mirrors of taxation

Excuse our cynicism so early in the year. But when government talks about not raising taxes — despite facing a serious fiscal crunch — and the money out of taxpayers’ pockets will increase anyway, we’re well into the land of smoke and mirrors.

Excuse our cynicism so early in the year. But when government talks about not raising taxes — despite facing a serious fiscal crunch — and the money out of taxpayers’ pockets will increase anyway, we’re well into the land of smoke and mirrors.

According to a report from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation late in 2010, pretty much everyone will see less in the ‘net pay’ slot on their paycheques.

They’ll also pay more in government fees and to public agencies.

But the grab won’t be highly visible, says Derek Fildebrandt, national research director with the federation.

One change, for example, will see workers paying higher premiums for employment insurance and the Canada Pension Plan, adding up to $76 more for anyone earning greater than $44,200.

And even more invisible will be a change in income tax calculations.

Even though the percentage isn’t going up per se, the method used by Ottawa to index tax brackets to adjust for inflation means most Canadians will be paying higher income taxes as well, the federation claims.

Canada Revenue Agency calculates the indexing of tax rates using a two-year rolling national average for inflation.

But workers experience inflation annually and often receive wage increases based on local inflation rates which are higher in some provinces than in others.

In those terms, Nova Scotians will be affected third most — behind Ontario and, tied for second, B.C. and Newfoundland.

It will reflect a little dip in net pay, but some will notice more so a year from April with a smaller tax refund, or having to pay in.

Someone earning $45,000 will pay about $184 more, the federation calculates. A family with combined income of $100,000 will pay $437 more.

On the other hand, businesses will enjoy a 1.5 per cent cut in tax rate.

It’s plain such increases are inevitable.

But most Canadians might as well read between the lines when politicians vow no new taxes.

From the New Glasgow News.