Taxes

What’s wrong with a revenue neutral carbon tax?

Jan 22, 2016
The political appeal of a revenue neutral carbon tax is clear. The tax provides an incentive to reduce fossil fuel use, and the revenue neutrality — reducing income or other taxes in amounts more or less equal to the amount of carbon tax revenues that the government receives — makes the whole exercise rather painless…. View Article

Province’s bump in home owner grant threshold is not the good deal suggested, especially for Metro Vancouver home owners

Jan 6, 2016
This week British Columbia’s provincial Finance Minister announced a $100,000 (9.1%) increase in the threshold for the province’s homeowner grant raising it to $1.2 million. There is more to this story than has been reported in the press release or the media. What looks like “tax relief” to homeowners has actually in recent years been… View Article

We have a new federal government. What now?

Oct 22, 2015
Monday’s election results brought a palpable sense of relief to Canadians who had tired of the divisive and nasty politics of the Harper Conservatives, and they point to important lessons for progressives (which we outlined in this previous post). But a majority government is certainly a lost opportunity. A minority outcome would have been far… View Article

Closing small business tax loopholes

Oct 2, 2015
The NDP, Liberals, Conservatives and Greens are now all proposing to cut the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% (albeit on slightly differing timelines), an unnecessary and unwise policy, as outlined in previous CCPA posts. It may make for good politics, but it’s a policy with no economic merit. It’s not all bad… View Article

Some strengths and weaknesses in the Green Party platform

Sep 18, 2015
My recent post comparing the NDP and Liberal election positions to date drew some criticism for leaving out the Green Party. So hoping to rectify that with this post on what I see as some strengths and weaknesses of the Green plan. On Sept. 9, The Green Party became the first of the major parties… View Article

The problem with the Fraser Institute’s consumer tax index

Aug 27, 2015
Every summer, the Fraser Institute releases a report pointing out the average family now spends more on taxes than food, clothing and shelter. But is it really a bad thing that as our economy grows we spend less of our income on basic survival and more on better education, better health, parks, environmental protection and… View Article

$10 a day child care: smart public policy whose time has come

Jul 14, 2015
Imagine if the BC government put as much energy and effort into solving BC’s child care crisis as it does in promoting LNG. This week, our Premier recalled the legislature from its regular summer break to pass special laws paving the way for one potential LNG project (more about why this is a bad deal here and here). What if… View Article

Just how bad is BC’s LNG deal with Petronas?

Jul 13, 2015
Last week, the BC government released the text of its Project Development Agreement with Pacific Northwest LNG (led by Malaysian state enterprise, Petronas), considered the front-runner in getting BC an LNG export industry. The agreement goes to the BC legislature this week in order to convince Petronas to make a “final investment decision.” There are still other barriers to this… View Article