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February 10, 2008

Canadians say personal income taxes too high, too complicated and unfair – opinion poll

CTF public opinion poll also finds 45% of respondents believe cutting personal income taxes should be given priority over other tax measures

OTTAWA – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released results of a public opinion poll in advance of the 2008 budget, expected later this month. The poll was conducted by Praxicus Public Strategies Inc. for the CTF to determine what Canadians think of the personal income tax burden and gauge perceptions of the tax codes fairness and its complexity.

The CTF-commissioned public opinion survey found:

65% of Canadians say federal personal income tax rates are somewhat too high (33%) or much too high (32%);

63% of Canadians believe the federal income tax system is too complicated;

57% of Canadians deem the income tax system somewhat unfair (40%) or very unfair (17%);

45% of Canadians said income taxes should be the federal government's top tax cut priority with gas taxes second (18%) with payroll taxes and GST tied for third at 10% each; and

51% of Canadians prefer broad-based tax relief over 44% who like targeted tax measures.

The survey was conducted January 4 – 8, 2008, among 1,000 Canadian adults 18 years-of-age and older. The results are considered accurate to within +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The results are available online:

On January 17th, the CTF released a groundbreaking study urging the federal government to enact a multi-year tax reform/relief plan. The report, entitled Lower, Simpler & Flatter – Towards a Single Tax Rate for Canada, urges Ottawa to reduce personal income taxes and cut the number of tax brackets from four to two while maintaining only a handful of deductions like RRSP, spousal and child allowances. The goal is to both simplify the tax code while lowering the personal income tax burden in a manner that strengthens the Canadian economy. The tax reform/tax relief news release is available here:

“This poll indicates our tax reform/tax relief proposal correctly identified problems with the existing personal income tax system. Specifically, a majority think income taxes are too high, the tax code is too complicated, and the system unfair,” said CTF federal director John Williamson. “The Conservative government should move to two federal income tax rates of 15% and 25% by 2012 as a way to make the system fairer and less complicated. There is public support for tax reform and tax relief.”

John Williamson
Federal Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Posted by John Williamson, Canadian Taxpayers Federation [permalink]

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