The average Canadian family spent 43 per cent of its income on taxes in 2017, said a new Fraser Institute study released Aug. 14. This amount exceeds the cost of clothing, food and housing combined, says the study.
“Many Canadians will be surprised to learn that taxes – and not life’s basic necessities, including housing – is the biggest household expense,” said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2017.
The study found that last year the average Canadian household paid $37,058 in taxes and $30,597 on housing, food and clothing combined.
The total tax bill “reflects both visible and hidden taxes that families pay to the federal, provincial and local governments including income, payroll, sales, property, carbon, health, fuel and alcohol taxes and more,” says the Fraser Institute.
Even accounting for inflation, the Fraser Institute says the tax bill has increased by 166.4 per cent since 1961.
“Taxes help fund important public services that Canadians rely on, but the issue is the amount of taxes governments take compared to what Canadians get in return,” Lammam said.