We’re paying more.

Much more.

And on this, the centennial birthday of Canada’s personal income tax, the Fraser Institute isn’t blowing out any candles.

Instead, the public policy think-tank took the opportunity to run the numbers on how much Canada’s income tax has ballooned.

Since 1917 – when Canada’s federal income tax was a tiny wartime revenue generator – income taxes have grown to account for 51% of federal revenues, according to the report.

What’s more, the Income Tax Act has bloated from just a half-dozen pages a century ago to a book that’s bigger than your typical Bible.

“The fears policymakers had in 1917 when the personal income tax was introduced — that governments would become dependent on it and that it would hurt our competitiveness — have all come true 100 years later,” said William Watson, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-editor of The History and Development of Canada’s Personal Income Tax: Zero to 50 in 100 Years.

Released Thursday – and ahead of Canada’s April 30 tax deadline – the collection of essays also compares Canada and the United States, where 42 of the country’s 50 states have a lower combined federal-state top rate than British Columbia, the province with the lowest combined rate.

The following are some highlights from the Fraser Institutes look at the income tax rate since 1917.


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