Saskatchewan taxpayers celebrate Tax Freedom Day eight days earlier in 2007



    VANCOUVER, June 19 /CNW/ - Tax Freedom Day falls on June 22 in
Saskatchewan, eight days earlier than last year, according to The Fraser
Institute's annual Tax Freedom Day calculations.
    "The Saskatchewan government has implemented significant tax relief in
recent years and as a result, Saskatchewan taxpayers are now enjoying a much
earlier Tax Freedom Day," said Niels Veldhuis, Director of the Centre for Tax
Studies at The Fraser Institute.
    Numerous tax reductions in Saskatchewan including important business tax
relief and the reduction in the provincial sales tax (PST) have resulted in
the earlier Tax Freedom Day. By comparison, Tax Freedom Day fell on June 30 in
2006. The latest Tax Freedom Day recorded in Saskatchewan was in 2003 when it
fell on July 4.
    But despite the improvements, Veldhuis points out Saskatchewan taxpayers
still face significantly heavier tax burdens than taxpayers in most other
provinces. Ontario's Tax Freedom Day falls on June 19, three days before
Saskatchewan's while British Columbia's Day falls six days earlier on June 16.
Alberta's Tax Freedom Day falls 21 days earlier on June 1.
    Only taxpayers in Quebec, with the second-latest Tax Freedom Day on
June 26, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where Tax Freedom Day falls on July 1,
wait longer than Saskatchewan taxpayers for Tax Freedom Day.
    "While recent tax cuts have made Saskatchewan more competitive, there
remains a substantial tax gap between Saskatchewan and many of the other
provinces," Veldhuis said.
    However, Saskatchewan's ranking changes if natural resource royalties are
excluded from the calculation. A debate exists as to whether natural resource
royalties are actually a tax or simply the conversion of an asset (natural
resources such as oil and gas) into an income stream for the province. When
those revenues are excluded, Saskatchewan's Tax Freedom day arrives on
June 13, the third earliest in Canada behind only Alberta and B.C.
    "While Saskatchewan's Tax Freedom Day arrives earlier when natural
resource revenues are excluded from the calculations, taxpayers in the
province still face a heavier tax burden than their counterparts in Alberta
and British Columbia. Further personal and business tax relief is needed to
make Saskatchewan as competitive," Veldhuis said.
    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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan family (with two or more individuals)
will earn $75,807 and pay a total of $35,720 in taxes, for a total tax bill
amounting to 47.1 per cent of its income.
    "If you look at the average Saskatchewan family's total tax bill, each
and every dollar they earn before June 22 would be required to pay the taxes
owing to all levels of government. It takes until June 22 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 Saskatchewan taxpayer 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.
    Saskatchewan taxpayers 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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