Tax free day

Now that I am in the ‘media’ so to speak (as a columnist) I can see things from the perspective of the journalist.

But what I am trying to find out is this. I heard at least 6-7 stories on “Tax Freedom Day”

Tax freedom day – the day average Canadians have paid off the year’s tax load and begin working for themselves – arrives Saturday, according to the Fraser Institute. The free-market-oriented think-tank said that governments are letting the citizenry keep four days’ worth of earnings more than last year. Tax freedom day varies by province: Alberta on May 28, New Brunswick on June 3, Prince Edward Island June 4, Manitoba June 8, Ontario June 9, Nova Scotia June 12, British Columbia June 13, Quebec June 19, Saskatchewan June 20, and Newfoundland and Labrador June 30.

In all of the stories, not one journalist asked the question why is New Brunswick second on this list? In fact, a couple of the stories insinuated it was because our tax rates are lower (insinuated).

The reality is that our tax freedom day comes quicker because we pay less tax overall. That is true. But we pay less tax overall because we earn less income overall. McKenna used to brag about New Brunswickers’ paying the second lowest average income tax bill. When I examined this it not because our marginal tax rates were lower but because we have less people earning higher incomes (and paying more tax).

So, our journalists – always digging for the angle – completely missed the opportunity to explain why NB is second on this list.