Friday, July 15, 2005

CTF gets props from CUPE

This is CUPE's submission to the Saskatchewan Business Tax Review Committee, which includes this gem:

At the behest of the business community and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the provincial government also introduced deep cuts to personal income taxes starting in the 2000 budget. Personal income taxes were de-linked from the federal system, which resulted in a flatter system of three tax brackets with little difference between the lowest rate of 11% and the highest rate of 15%. This personal income tax "reform" was accompanied by an expansion of the personal sales tax (PST). High income earners benefitted disproportionately from this tax cut. According to the Department of Finance's tax calculator, a single person with no children making $30,000 would save a modest $240 in provincial income taxes a year when fully implemented. But a childless single person making $150,000 would end up saving a whopping $6,863 in provincial income tax annually.

It's great to get some credit once in a while, and CUPE does make a valid point. Low-income earners in Saskatchewan pay one of the highest tax rates in the country. We need to increase the Basic Personal Exemption (the amount you can earn without paying taxes on it) to $15,000 for starters. Did you know that the the 1917 Basic Personal Exemption would be worth more than $19,000 in today's dollars (courtesy of Tax me, I'm Canadian)? The Canadian BPE currently stands at $8,148.

Then, in the CUPE submission there was this:

The revenue forfeited as a result of the above tax cuts has been significant. The personal income tax cuts have cost the provincial treasury $260 million annually, while the small business tax cuts have amounted to a $150 million annual loss in revenue.
Funny how they consider leaving more money in people's pockets a "loss." Disconcerting how little they value individual choice. Dissapointing how they ignore the positive effects those tax reductions had on the Saskatchewan economy. Outrageous how they ignore the fact that government revenues are higher now than they ever have been -- even in the personal income and business tax categories.

But of course, it's not about the "public interest" at all. It's about the union interest, and the membership dues.

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