Albertans first to celebrate Tax Freedom Day in 2007



    VANCOUVER, June 19 /CNW/ - Tax Freedom Day fell on June 1 in Alberta this
year, earlier than any other province in Canada, according to The Fraser
Institute's annual Tax Freedom Day calculations.
    Alberta's Tax Freedom Day arrives 15 days earlier than British Columbia
(June 16), 18 days earlier than Ontario (June 19), and almost one full month
before Quebec sees Tax Freedom Day on June 26.
    "Albertans continue to enjoy the lowest tax burden in Canada. As a
result, Albertans are working substantially less for government and more for
themselves and their families compared to other Canadians," said Niels
Veldhuis, The Fraser Institute's Director of the Centre for Tax Studies
    But while Alberta continues to maintain a tax advantage over other
Canadian provinces, British Columbia and Saskatchewan aggressively reduced
taxes in 2007 to close the tax gap and make themselves more competitive.
    "With a booming economy and revenues flowing into government coffers,
Alberta's provincial government should have seized the opportunity to
strengthen the province's diminishing tax advantage," Veldhuis said.
"Unfortunately, the majority of tax revenue gains were dedicated to increases
in government spending."
    Alberta's Tax Freedom Day arrived eight days earlier this year than in
2006 when it fell on June 9. However, Veldhuis points out that the improvement
is not a result of provincial tax cuts, which were non-existent in the 2007
Alberta budget. Rather, the earlier arrival of Tax Freedom Day is a result of
cautious budget projections by the provincial government.
    Veldhuis cautions that since provincial budget forecasts of the amount of
revenue expected is one of the key components of the Tax Freedom Day
calculations, low projections for tax revenue, especially relative to
projected increases in personal incomes, can result in Tax Freedom Day
appearing to arrive earlier in the year.
    "It's common for actual tax collections to exceed budget estimates," he
said. "Given the conservative tax revenue estimates in Alberta's 2007 budget,
once actual tax revenues are tallied, revisions could be push Tax Freedom Day
back to later in the year."
    Independent research organization The Fraser Institute calculates Tax
Freedom Day to provide a comprehensive indicator of the total amount of taxes
paid by the average Alberta family to all three levels of government: federal,
provincial, and local.
    The taxes used to compute Tax Freedom Day include income taxes, property
taxes, sales taxes, profit taxes, health, social security and employment
taxes, import duties, license fees, taxes on the consumption of alcohol and
tobacco, natural resource fees, fuel taxes, hospital taxes and a host of other
levies.
    In 2007, the average Alberta family (with two or more individuals) will
earn $109,052 and pay a total of $44,881 in taxes, for a total tax bill
amounting to 41.2 per cent of its income.
    "If you look at the average Alberta family's total tax bill, each and
every dollar they earn before June 1 would be required to pay the taxes owing
to all levels of government. It takes until June 1 before they begin earning
money for themselves," Veldhuis said.
    On a national basis, when tax levels and incomes are averaged for all
Canadians, Tax Freedom Day falls on June 20, four days earlier than 2006 when
it fell on June 24.
    The latest Tax Freedom Day in Canadian history was in 2000, when it fell
on June 25. Tax Freedom Day decreased to June 17 in 2001 before steadily
advancing to June 24 in 2005 and 2006.
    "It's virtually impossible for the average Albertan to know how much they
truly pay in taxes. The aim of Tax Freedom Day is to give people a true
indication of the amount of money we pay in taxes each year," Veldhuis said.
    Albertans can calculate their personal Tax Freedom Day using The Fraser
Institute's Personal Tax Freedom Day Calculator at www.fraserinstitute.ca The
report, Canadians Celebrate Tax Freedom Day on June 20, is also available at
www.fraserinstitute.ca

    
    Tax Freedom Day - Province by Province
    --------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Province  AB   NB    PEI   BC    MB    ON    NS    SK    QC    NL  Canada
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2007
    Tax     June  June  June  June  June  June  June  June  June  July  June
    Freedom   1    14    14    16    16    19    19    22    26     1    20
    Day
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational
organization based in Canada. Its mission is to measure, study, and
communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on
the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does
not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit
www.fraserinstitute.ca





For further information:

For further information: Niels Veldhuis, Director of the Centre for Tax
Studies, The Fraser Institute, Tel. (604) 714-4546, Email:
nielsv@fraserinstitute.ca; Dean Pelkey, Associate Director of Communications,
The Fraser Institute, Tel: (604) 714-4582, Email deanp@fraserinstitute.ca

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