By the numbers: price of vice

The average Canadian family spends nearly $1,700 annually in excise tax – primarily sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco. The amount grows yearly and no indulgence is too small to be considered fair game.

The average Canadian family spends nearly $1,700 annually in excise tax— primarily sin taxes on alcohol and tobacco. The amount grows yearly and no indulgence is too small to be considered fair game.

3: Cent increase in tax per cigarette introduced by federal Conservatives in 1991. The extra tax led to a $5-billion black market in tobacco; the subsequent Liberal government was forced to reverse the tax in 1994.

4: Billions of dollars in taxes that would be generated by legalizing marijuana in Canada, according to estimates in a 2013 paper by the Liberal Party of Canada in BC.

5.8: Billions of dollars in revenue raised by taxes on beer in Canada. Levies on alcohol and tobacco provide more than $15 billion annually.

12: Billions of dollars governments could earn through a proposed 2008 tax on carbon emissions. "Alberta's going to end up transferring quite significant amounts of revenue to other parts of the country," noted University of Calgary economist Jack Mintz.

48: Percent of Canadians who favour a "fat tax" on high-fat foods, including potato chips and snack cakes, according to a 2001 poll.

59: Millions of day trips Canadians made to the US by car in 1991. Retail Council of Canada head Alasdair McKichan urges lower taxes on tobacco and alcohol to stem the record tide.

1917: Year income tax was introduced in Canada. Prior to that, customs and excise duties — notably on liquor and tobacco — generated more than 85% of government revenue.

2010: Year the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada published a report supporting a tax on sugary soft drinks, dedicating revenues to fruit and vegetable subsidies.

About the Author

Steve Brearton


Steve Brearton is a freelance writer in Toronto.

comments powered by Disqus

Highlights

Update your knowledge and strengthen your network at this must-attend conference covering the most important issues and trends affecting audit committee members.

It’s probable that someone you know is deep in debt. If you are observant, you might see one of these seven signs.