Cre­at­ing a fairer tax sys­tem for all Cana­di­ans

The Woolwich Observer - - COMMENT - CLINT ROHR | ST JA­COBS

To the Edi­tor, I HAVE BE­COME IN­CREAS­INGLY un­com­fort­able with the fear mon­ger­ing in what has been hap­pen­ing with re­spect to Finance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau’s pro­posed tax re­forms. While I say this, I want it to be clear I do not be­lieve the peo­ple who use the loop­holes are tax cheats and abusers. Those who use the loop­holes that are presently le­gal are typ­i­cally high-in­come earn­ers, while those who earn $150,000 or less an­nu­ally will have min­i­mal im­pact.

We have in­come in­equal­ity in this coun­try and we as fel­low ci­ti­zens need to ad­dress this is­sue with the help of tax re­form. Life cir- cum­stances fac­ing chil­dren liv­ing in poverty and many within our In­dige­nous na­tive pop­u­la­tions are in des­per­ate need of more fund­ing just to have a bare min­i­mum healthy en­vi­ron­ment in which to live.

From what I un­der­stand these tax re­forms will im­pact 80 per cent of the most wealthy mak­ing over $2.3 mil­lion an­nu­ally within our coun­try. How­ever, many of these peo­ple will con­tinue to ben­e­fit from their ex­ist­ing ex­ces­sive pas­sive in­vest­ments be­cause they will be grand­fa­thered. This is quite gen­er­ous, to say the least. Yet the present loop­hole whereby the most wealthy get un­fair ad­van­tage in re­tire­ment ben­e­fits, which has been pro­jected at up to $16 bil­lion an­nu­ally in tax­payer sub­sidy, is an ex­am­ple of how a bad tax sys­tem con­trib­utes to in­equal­ity within our coun­try.

The re­form also al­lows small busi­nesses to con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the lower small busi­ness tax rate, which hap­pens to be a $3.6 bil­lion tax­payer sub­sidy. In fact, there should be more money avail­able to in­vest in ac­tive busi­ness ex­pan­sion rather than chan­nel money into pas­sive in­vest­ments like stocks and real es­tate. Spe­cific to farm­ers, the $1 mil­lion life­time cap­i­tal gain ex­emp­tion which comes into play when the fam­ily farm is be­ing trans­ferred will con­tinue, a sig­nif­i­cant con­tin­u­ing ben­e­fit.

Yes, I am sad­dened to read some wealthy Cana­di­ans are ready to opt out of our coun­try to safe­guard their wealth in re­ac­tions to these re­forms. Yet we need to sup­port these tax re­forms as a step to min­i­mize the in­equal­i­ties within our coun­try a place where most of us are proud to say “We are Cana­di­ans!”

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