Taxes are the largest expense for Canadian households: Study

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fraser Institute is out with a new study that has found taxes, and not basic necessities like food, clothing, and housing, make up the largest expense for the average Canadian household.

It found the average family paid $34,154 in taxes of all sorts last year, including what it calls “hidden” business taxes passed along in the price of goods and services purchased.

The conservative think tank says last year the average family bill for income taxes collected by governments was $10,616.

It puts the second-biggest category, payroll and health taxes, at $7,160 dollars, and it is followed by sales taxes at $4,973, and property taxes at $3,832.

The study’s authors conclude that visible and hidden taxes would have been equal to 42.4% of the cash income for an average Canadian family in 2015, estimated at $80,593.

By comparison, that’s nearly five percent more than the average family paid, for food, clothing, and housing combined.

The study estimates the average Canadian family spent $30,293 on these so-called necessities of life last year, and it works out to about 37.6% of the family’s total cash income.

It represents a major family expense flip-flop in the last half century since in 1961, 33.5 percent of the average family income went to pay taxes and 56.5% to basic necessities.

The comparison is based on numbers from the Canadian Consumer Tax Index track, of the total tax bill of the average Canadian family, from 1961 to 2015.

Including all types of taxes that bill has increased over that period by one thousand 939%, more than two and half times the 706% increase in the Consumer Price Index, and more than 500% higher than any other single expenditure, with shelter next at 1425%.