Canadian families paid almost $40K in taxes in 2018, that’s more than they spent on essentials including housing, food, and clothing. The average family handed over $39,299 to the various levels of government – that’s more than 44% of household income of $88,865 – according to a new study from the Fraser Institute.
By comparison, basic necessities including food, clothing, and rent or mortgage payments, came to $32,214 or 36.3% of income. “Taxes—not life’s basic necessities—remain the largest household expense for families across the country,” said Finn Poschmann, resident scholar at the Fraser Institute, citing the Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which tracks the total tax bill of the average Canadian family from 1961 to 2018.
This is a dramatic shift since 1961, when the average Canadian family spent much less of its income on taxes (33.5%) than the basic necessities (56.5%). Since 1961, there has been a 1,593% increase in the cost of housing expenses while taxes have increased 2,246%, the study says.
“Of course, taxes help fund important public services, but with more than 44% of their income going to taxes, Canadians might wonder whether they’re getting good value for their tax dollars,” said Jake Fuss, a Fraser Institute economist and study co-author.