Taxpayers

Mary E. Smyth via Getty Images

This Is How The Underground Economy Shortchanges Canadians

It may be tempting to pay for certain things in cash because we think that saving a few dollars here and there can't hurt; however, we fail to see the larger impact of what happens when we do. The underground economy makes it challenging to protect the country's revenue base and hinders the government's ability to keep taxes low. When people pay in cash, they skip out on paying the taxes that support things like healthcare, education and public transportation -- the very social services we rely on every day.
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The Underground Economy Is Eroding the Integrity of Our Tax System

How is it that everyone seems to know someone who's paid under the table, but no one concedes to doing it? Of course, that's no surprise. Who wants to admit to putting personal gain ahead of the greater good? It costs jobs, undermines businesses that play by the rules, and deprives the government of much needed revenue for vital programs. Statistics Canada says the underground economy totalled $42.4 billion in 2012, roughly 2.3 per cent of gross domestic product, much of it occurring in the construction, finance and real estate, retail and hospitality industries.
michaklootwijk

Will the Government Eliminate Capital Gains Tax?

By doubling the maximum contribution for a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), which would therefore jump to $11,000 a year according to rumours surrounding next Tuesday's budget, the federal government is doing more than just encourage saving; it's taking a step toward the de facto elimination of the capital gains tax on financial investments for the great majority of Canadians.

Don't Call Me a 'Taxpayer' - I Am More Than Just My Wallet

I don't like when tax dollars are wasted -- whether at the provincial level by relocating gas plants, or at City Hall by tearing up LRT contracts willy-nilly, or even by the federal government straight up losing $3.1 billion (whatever happened to that scandal, by the way?). And I get that times are tough. Saving pennies matters to a lot of people these days, and it should to our governments, too.
Colin McConnell via Getty Images

Rob Ford Needs to Stop Using Black People as a Prop

Way back in May, I had commented about my unease with Ford's relationship with young black males. I said that his proximity to these kids as a football coach smelled of the Penn State scandal. Was Ford a teacher? No. Was Ford in anyway involved in the education system? No. Was Ford a crack user? Yes. Was Ford an alcoholic? A pathological liar? Yes and yes. I'm sorry, but there is no way I would have wanted my child, who as Ford said would either be "dead or in jail," groomed and mentored on how to become a man by a drunk crack addict who could pretty well end up dead or in jail when this fiasco comes to an end.

Business Subsidies Don't Turn "Acorns" into "Oak Trees"

Recently, I asked Industry Canada for information on disbursements to businesses since the early 1960s. The result of that request revealed the hollowness of one claim often advanced in support of subsidies to business: that "acorns" will grow to "oak trees." Instead, what is evident from the data is that many "oak trees" never stop asking for handouts.
Getty

The Government Is Spending How Much on Corporate Welfare?

Canadians who don't regularly track how governments spend money might be surprised to find how myths crop up about government expenditures. Exhibit A is a new report that claims Canada needs even more "industrial policy," more colloquially known as corporate welfare. Governments are less eager to be frank about the cost of corporate welfare, including chronic government failure on collecting on past loans.
AP

The Taxpayer's Gift to Chrysler

Back in June 2009, the federal and Ontario governments decided to use massive amounts of taxpayer cash to rescue General Motors and Chrysler, two corporations deemed too big to fail. The cost to Canadians was US$13.7 billion: $10.8 billion to GM and $2.9 billion to Chrysler.
PA

In Muskoka, It's Not All Waterskiing and Boathouses

Because of the Muskoka Initiative children in Africa are being protected from diseases for just a few dollars. Launched at Canada's G8 Summit in 2010, the focus of the initiative is on supporting proven, cost-effective, and evidence-based interventions. Vaccines are just that. Vaccines save lives and help communities to thrive.

Municipal Golf Courses Have Taxpayers Tee'd-Off

Golf revenues are slowly on the decline across Canada. Some B.C. leaders have missed the simplest way of fixing this problem: getting taxpayers out of the golf game all together. It's one thing for taxes to go to essentials like water, sewer or public safety, it's another thing to know you're subsidizing luxuries like municipal golf courses. If you can find a service listed on YellowPages.ca, government shouldn't be providing it.
CP

What's So Bad About Municipal Bonusing?

A town can try to sell itself on its charm, its appearance, its vaguely beneficial "lifestyle" -- but none of these can compete with the lure of a tax moratorium or free, serviced land; the attractive offers of yesteryear. Is charm worth more to a company than easy access to the transportation network? Or lower taxes? Not likely.

Why I'm Voting for None of the Above

Oddly, the PCs are running ads slamming McGuinty as "the tax man." Yet, does Hudak plan to jettison the HST he condemns so vociferously? No chance. How does that Who song go? "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."