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Letters  

'Punitive' tax rates

Re. Patrick MacDonald's letter Climate change no priority (Castanet, April 17)

I have numerous issues with the comments made in the letter, but one in particular stands out: "Most wealthy people do not work hard all their lives to accumulate wealth."

I agree with the writer that some wealth is inherited, for example, the trust funds set up by (Prime Minister) Justin Trudeau's grandfather. But to suggest other wealth is somehow accumulated by means other than hard work is nonsense.

People do not get high-paying jobs by not working hard. Small business owners, the backbone of the economy and where a lot of the wealth accumulation is created, accumulate that wealth by working hard.

The writer wants to tax those people more for working hard and creating wealth, which in my mind, is nothing more than penalizing success.

My question to the writer is how much should successful people pay in income tax? According to Statistics Canada, for the 2021 taxation year, (the most recent data available), the top 1% of tax filers had 10.4% of all the income and paid 22.5% of all federal and provincial income taxes.

The average income tax paid was $230,800 on average income of $579,000, which equates to an average tax rate of 39.8%. The marginal tax rate in B.C. for income at that level is 53.5%. So, for every dollar earned at that level, the taxpayer is taking home less than what they are paying in income tax.

The top 10% of tax filers had 34% of all the income and paid 54.4% of all federal and provincial income taxes. The average income tax paid was $55,800 on average income of $190,000, which equates to an average tax rate of 30%. The marginal tax rate in B.C. for that income level is 45.8%, which means they are taking home just 4.2% more than what they are paying in taxes.

If we continue to tax success at punitive levels, we will lose those people and businesses to other jurisdictions where success is rewarded and not penalized. Our GDP per capita, i.e. our standard of living, is declining under the Trudeau government and to lose productive capital by implementing additional punitive tax measures is counter productive.

We are borrowing now to maintain our standard of living and that borrowing will have to increase if that happens. Our debt position is horrendous as it is. Soon we will be paying $1 billion per week in interest payments, and that is only on the federal debt.

The writer mentions (Conservative Leader Pierre) Poilievre will continue to cater to corporations and the wealthy. I would like to see evidence of that

On the contrary, it is Trudeau who is catering to the corporations and the wealthy. The egregious handouts to the billionaire Irving family in the Maritimes (staunch Liberals) and then, of course, the $13.2 billion for Volkswagen and the $15 billion for Stellantis-LGES are good examples.

Mark S. Bragagnolo



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