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wj q0 Quebecers in a hurry like a lemon - The Times Hub

Quebecers in a hurry like a lemon

Quebecers in a hurry like a lemon

What if we were taxed like Albertans?

The question is purely hypothetical, but nonetheless, by seeking the answer, it allows us to measure in a different light the tax burden weighing on the shoulders of Quebec taxpayers.

I will not make you languish, the answer is already ready: individuals in the Belle Province would pay nearly $ 29 billion (B $) in less taxes if we implemented the Alberta tax system here.

Here is a large number likely to excite the envy of libertarians. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The heaviest taxes

This figure comes from a study carried out by Julie S. Gosselin and Luc Godbout, from the Research Chair in Taxation and Public Finance (CFFP) at the University of Sherbrooke.

What would it do if we taxed Quebeckers like Ontarians, Manitobans, and others? This is the question posed by the two experts who evaluated the effect of applying to Quebec the tax structure of the nine other Canadian provinces.

I gave you the results of the comparison with Alberta right off the bat. It is most striking, in particular because of the absence of sales taxes there.

The table on the page gives the overall picture. What these figures reveal is that the Government of Quebec is taking more money from the pockets of individuals than anywhere else. They indicate what we would pay less (or more), if we were subject to the tax regime of neighbors. As you can see, a distinction is made between income tax, consumption taxes and social contributions.

In the process, however, part of this money is redistributed in the form of refundable tax credits and family allowances (left part of the table). This transfer causes the net gap to narrow; it is even reversed with the Atlantic provinces, with the exception of New Brunswick.

More services in Quebec

All the same, a significant gap persists between Quebec and Alberta ($ 23 billion), British Columbia ($ 14.6 billion), Saskatchewan ($ 10.4 billion) and our neighbors in Ontario ( $ 10.2 billion).

On the other hand, as the authors of the study point out, Quebecers are entitled in return to more services.

Here, there are subsidized daycare centers, drug insurance, the Quebec parental insurance plan and lower tuition fees. Quebec has also chosen to keep its electricity rates as low as possible.

Does that explain everything?

Not sure.

Luc Godbout agrees, stressing for example the fact that in Alberta, the population is younger. A younger company generates more tax revenue while costing less in services.

We should study the differences in productivity, there is certainly part of the explanation, but academics have not taken their analysis that far.

In the end, by applying the Alberta tax structure here, Quebecers would not necessarily end up with $ 23 billion net in their pocket, they would have to pay more for drugs, child care, etc.

While we’re at it, let’s stay in Alberta. Note that oil revenues have largely helped to save the wallet of individuals. In this regard, things are not going to be for the best. One day it will have to dig into the pockets of consumers with the help of a tax.

A widening gap

We can therefore console ourselves, but not too much anyway. The study shows that the tax burden of Quebeckers, compared to that of Canadians, is increasing. The gap has widened since 2010.

I really had the impression that we were paying less tax than before in Quebec, but tax increases, additional QPP contributions and the implementation of the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, among others, have increased in over the years the fiscal pressure exerted on Quebecers.

Despite the circumstances, we can understand Quebec’s reluctance to want to siphon more money from our pockets.

Income tax Consumption taxes Social contributions Total gross deviation Refundable credits Family allowances Total net deviation
Alberta 11,805 15,901 1129 28 835 -4042 -1828 22 965
British Columbia 11,020 8614 1129 20 763 -3971 -2187 14,605
Saskatchewan 8969 5668 1129 15 766 -2924 -2471 10 371
Ontario 9058 3148 1129 13 335 -1260 -1860 10 215
Manitoba 1216 6977 1129 9322 -775 -2428 6119
New Brunswick 3349 1972 1129 6450 -1732 -2384 2334
New Scotland 452 2404 1129 3985 -3431 -2322 -1768
Newfoundland and Labrador 2407 -648 1129 2888 -2959 -2378 -2449
Prince Edward Island 1370 -2 1129 2497 -3606 -2471 -3580

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