18 May 2016

A dose of reality for Lorraine and her friends #nlpoli

During Question Period in the House of Assembly on Tuesday, Lorraine Michael asked the finance minister for the information that showed that 35% of the tax filers in the province account for 88% of the government's income tax revenue.

Lorraine should have been able to find the information for herself.

According to Statistics Canada (CANSIM 204-0001), the top 50% of tax filers in 2013 - all 197,380 of them - earned more than $31,400.  They paid an average of $14,200 in federal and provincial taxes and accounted for 94.8% of federal and provincial taxes.

So it isn't much of a stretch to see how a relatively small portion of the folks with an income in the province carry most of the tax burden.

The top 10% of tax filers in Newfoundland and Labrador  - 41,865 people - accounted for 51% of the federal and provincial taxes paid in 2013, the last year for which the table gives figures. They paid an average of $36,500 in federal and provincial income taxes. The thresh-hold to get into the 10% club was $89,200, which is less than Lorraine and her colleagues in the House receive as a base pay.

The median tax paid for the top 10% was $28,600.  That's an interesting figure because the median pre-tax income for the 418,000 or so people who filed taxes in this province in 2013 was $29,300.

But what about that One Percent Club?  Well,  the 3,135 folks who made more than $222,000 paid an average of $114,600 in taxes in 2013.  They accounted for 12.1% of federal and provincial taxes paid.

At the 50% level, 47% of the tax filing population paid 95% of the taxes.  Yes folks, that means about half the folks filing taxes accounted for about five percent of the government's total income tax haul.

At the 10% level, 10% of the tax filers covered 51% of the tax burden.

At the one percent level, 7.5% of the people filing taxes paid 12% of the taxes.

The information in plain view.  It's amazing that Lorraine and her friends find it so hard to believe there is no gigantic, secret stash of money hiding in the very small number of people who make a lot of money.