Ontario budget: Andrea Horwath’s tax-the-rich scheme ‘hugely popular,’ poll suggests
Fair taxes no longer a taboo subject
So What’s Wrong If The Better Off Among Us Pay More Taxes?
Ontario’s poor give Premier McGuinty’s mannequin an earful
Toronto, April 18, 2012
Provincial parties urged to adopt proposal for modest tax increase as part of Ontario Budget
Joint statement by Doctors for Fair Taxation and Lawyers for Fair Taxation
With a crucial vote on the Ontario Budget just days away, groups supporting fair taxation to address income inequality are urging all provincial parties to agree to a proposal to increase taxes on the very wealthiest of citizens.
While the New Democratic Party proposal to increase the tax rate for Ontarians earning more than $500,000 per year (fewer than the top one percent of income earners) is exceptionally modest, it is an important acknowledgement that we cannot continue to sustain unaffordable tax breaks for the very wealthy and would mark an important shift in the discourse around taxes.
Ontario’s wealthiest citizens and corporations have enjoyed nearly two decades of substantial tax cuts that have contributed to growing income inequality. This is no longer morally justifiable or fiscally responsible. Consider:
- In the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s, the top marginal tax rate (including federal and provincial taxes) was 80%. During this period Canada enjoyed its longest period of sustained economic growth ever.
- Today, the highest Ontario personal income tax bracket is 46%. This rate has not been this low since the Great Depression.
- With this rate beginning at $132,000 in annual income, governments are in essence providing a flat tax for the super rich. Millionaire athletes and billionaire tycoons pay the same tax rate on their high incomes as doctors and engineers.
- Between 1980 and 2009 and controlled for inflation, the top 20% of earners increased their employment incomes by 38.4% but the middle fifth lost 0.3% of their market incomes and the bottom fifth lost 11.4%.
- Ontario Social Assistance rates would need to be raised by 25% to 60% to buy the same goods and services they bought in 1995
- Canadian disparities in health, which are directly caused by socio-economic disparities, are responsible for 20% of health care costs.
- Due to tax cuts by federal and provincial governments, public revenues dropped by 5.8% of GDP from 2000 to 2010. This is the equivalent of approximately $100 Billion in foregone revenue.
We need to address income inequality and one way is to roll back some of the tax cuts made to the wealthiest Ontarians. All parties should seize the opportunity presented by the Ontario Budget and a minority Legislature to implement higher increases on the province’s highest earners.
In order to further this reasonable discourse on taxation, we also recommend the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs investigate other options for fair revenue generation – including increasing corporate tax rates – and bring forward proposals in time for the 2013 Ontario budget.
Hundreds of members of the medical and legal profession as well as many other Ontarians have signed petitions supporting the call for fair taxation. We see the infinite potential of our province and country and understand fair taxes are part of our contribution to realizing this potential.
Our message to all provincial parties is clear: Tax us! Ontario is worth it.
We are distinct groups of doctors and lawyers who believe unfair taxation has contributed to growing income inequality in Canada. We are working in collaboration and with other Canadians to shift the public discourse on taxes, encourage governments to adopt reasonable tax increases on their wealthiest citizens and to seriously study new revenue tools to help address income inequality. For more information please visit:
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Doctors for Fair Taxation responded to a series of editorials and columns in the National Post recently opposing fair taxation via a letter to the editor.
You may view the letter on the National Post’s website but it also appears below. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/16/todays-letters-will-romance-survive-the-digital-age/
Tax us — Canada is worth it
The National Post has published a number of editorials or columns in the past week on the issue of taxes, equity and government finance. Your writers vigorously defend low taxes for high income earners, ignoring growing income inequality among Canadians and unfair taxations contribution to this divide. Ontario’s highest personal income tax bracket of 46% has not been as low since the Great Depression. This rate starts at $132,000, so it’s a flat tax for the rich. Billionaires pay the same rate as doctors. Conversely, the budget freezes social assistance rates despite these payments having 60% less purchasing power than in 1995. The United States has more economic inequality than Canada, but Canada is becoming more unequal faster than almost any other country. As doctors, we know that growing economic inequality causes social and health problems that put further pressure on public services. Higher taxes on high earners would ease some suffering and decrease debt. The time has come for high earning Canadians to pay our fair share. Tax us. Canada is worth it. Doctors for Fair Taxation: Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Dr. Michael Rachlis, Dr. Tanya Zakrison, Toronto
Thanks to your continued support we are having an impact on the public discourse around taxes. Please see this column in the Toronto Star today http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1161262–walkom-tax-fairness-no-longer-a-taboo-topic.
We also have a letter to the editor to the Globe and Mail in response to their editorial opposing tax increases for the wealthy. You can read our letter here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/april-14-letters-to-the-editor/article2401994/page2/ and the editorial here http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/punishing-the-rich-with-extra-taxes-not-an-answer-to-inequity/article2398986/. We encourage you to add your own online comment or send in a letter to the editor.
Let’s keep it going. Please sign our petition and write or call your Member of Provincial and Federal Parliament and urge them to adopt fair taxation now!
Please visit BBC News -http://bbc.in/HrsDtG to find out!
More and more Canadians are speaking out in favour of fair taxation. According to a new poll conducted for the Broadbent Institute, a clear majority support higher taxes to reduce income inequality http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/04/10/pol-broadbent-poll.html. In Ontario, a NDP proposal to increase the marginal tax rate for individuals earning over $500,000 per year by 2% is being considered by the governing Liberal Party. The Toronto Star is also encouraging a serious discussion on fair taxation in this editorial: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1158784–broadbent-poll-uncovers-public-desire-to-close-inequality-gap. Finally, in addition to Doctors for Fair Taxation and Lawyers for Fair Taxation, we now welcome Clergy for Fair Taxation http://www.catholicregister.org/news/canada/item/14252-clergy-seek-higher-taxes-%E2%80%94-for-themselve.
If you haven’t already signed our petition, please do so here: http://doctorsforfairtaxation.ca/petition/ and please join the discussion on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DoctorsForFairTaxation and Twitter
Our little group has taken off. The NDP has asked the government to introduce a 2% higher marginal tax rate for taxable income above $500,000. This isn’t nearly as much as we’re asking for and even not nearly as much as Obama is demanding in the US. After an initial negative comment by the Liberal Legislative House Leader John Milloy, Premier Dalton McGuinty has been much more accommodating to the NDP proposal.
We might get our first increase in personal income tax rates in 20 years. We had hoped to just change the conversation this year but I think we might have changed policy too.
To ensure we get something this year send your emails and cards to the Premier, the Treasurer, the health minister, and NDP leader Andrea Horwath asking for fair taxation to be part of this budget.