Effective Corporate Tax Rate Falling

Further to my earlier post critiquing the recent  Mintz study -  which argued that cuts in corporate tax rates are not significantly denting corporate tax revenues – I looked up the effective corporate tax rate (income tax paid as a percentage of taxable corporate income.) Here is what shows up on CANSIM 180-0003.   2006 – 31.0% 2007 – 29.9% […]

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More Dead Money

The sector and financial-flow accounts released with today’s GDP figures indicate an expansion of the pool of dead money flagged by this blog and by Mark Carney. The National Balance Sheet Accounts have not yet been released for the second quarter, so we cannot update the accumulated total of $526 billion. However, the updated Financial Flow Accounts report that private […]

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Dead Money

Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak.) It’s not the first time he’s raised this  concern.  Last year at the Empire […]

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Agreeing with Hoback’s Headline

I have the following letter in today’s Prince Albert Daily Herald (page 4): Reinvest Resource Wealth in Saskatchewan To the editor: I strongly agree with the title of MP Randy Hoback’s letter: “Siphoning money out of the west is wrong” (June 9). My proposal is to keep more money in Saskatchewan by collecting more provincial royalty revenue from the extraction […]

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Mining in the NWT: Who Gets What?

In a recent blog post at Northern Public Affairs, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox looks at the issue of ‘who gets what?’ when a mine is developed in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Here is an excerpt from the post: – The resource extractor: they pay royalties (the NWT has the lowest royalties in the world), and costs of production, then sell the resource […]

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Provincial and State Corporate Taxes

The following commentary also appears on The Globe and Mail’s Global Exchange blog: What Obama’s Corporate Tax Proposal Means for Canada Last week, there was much consternation in Canada’s business press that some modest reversals of provincial corporate tax cuts and President Obama’s proposed corporate tax changes could erode our competitiveness. Canadians should maintain a healthy skepticism about possible U.S. […]

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McGuinty’s Business Tax Breaks

An interesting nugget in last week’s Drummond report is Table 11.1, an updated version of Table 2 from “Ontario’s Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth” (2009). It provides a sectoral breakdown of the McGuinty government’s recent business tax breaks: HST input tax credits, cutting the corporate income tax, and eliminating the corporate capital tax. The combined annual cost of these […]

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Ontario’s Not Digging Deep Enough

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ biennial guide to Canadian mining taxation, Digging Deeper, features a comparative summary of royalties, mining taxes and corporate taxes for a hypothetical gold mine. This approach differs from the table I posted yesterday, which displayed royalty and mining tax revenue as a share of the minerals actually extracted from different provinces and territories in 2010. However, the conclusion is the same: […]

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Corporate Taxes and Investment in Ontario

Last week, Ontario’s Ministry of Finance released the Ontario Economic Accounts for the third quarter of 2011. As The Globe reported, business investment was less than impressive: . . . investment in machinery and equipment fell slightly by 0.2 per cent between June and September, 2011, prompting Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan to fire a shot across the bow of […]

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Tax Shifting

Earlier this week, the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab published a piece by Stephen Gordon arguing that high income and corporate taxes won’t generate much revenue.  Gordon used used the metaphor of Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s (finance minister to the Louis XIV, the “Sun King”) that the art of taxation was like plucking feathers from a goose: “ obtain the largest amount of feathers with […]

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Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively child poverty, and at full […]

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Flaherty’s Christmas List – all Mixed Up

Following recent dismal reports on rising unemployment, stagnant GDP growth, and a deteriorating economic outlook, we can only hope federal Finance minister Jim Flaherty will provide some Christmas cheer with changes “to better promote job creation and economic growth” (as he’s  asked for advice on through his pre-budget consultations). Unfortunately, Santa Flaherty seems to have got his Christmas list all […]

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Corporate Tax Evasion on a Global Scale

This new study from Education International looks interesting. “This EI study follows on from a previous study published in March 2010 by Global Financial Integrity, a research and advocacy organisation promoting transparency in the international financial system, estimating that current total deposits just by non-residents in offshore and secrecy jurisdictions were close to US$10 trillion. The US, the UK and […]

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Unrest in Bill’s Republic of Doyle

PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle waded into Saskatchewan’s election campaign on Friday with an op-ed in the province’s two largest newspapers. It was accompanied by a paid advertisement from PotashCorp in Saskatoon’s StarPhoenix. The company got some free advertising in Regina’s Leader-Post through Bruce Johnstone’s column, which repeated Doyle’s op-ed. The Saskatchewan Party is parroting the same lines. In response to […]

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Sask Party Shills for PotashCorp

Yesterday’s strong earnings report from the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan confirms what this blog and the NDP have been contending: even modestly increasing Saskatchewan’s extremely low royalties on hugely profitable potash mines could fund substantially better provincial public services. The Saskatchewan Party still refuses to review potash royalties. In a well-timed column, Greg Fingas developed the theme that this gift […]

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The Globe on Corporate Cash Hoards

Today’s Globe and Mail (page B15) mentions the PEF in a story on the corporate sector’s record-breaking accumulation of cash, a subject about which we have often blogged. Corporate Canada has tripled its cash stash in each of the last two decades. The following Statistics Canada figures are “Canadian currency and deposits” plus “Foreign currency and deposits” for private non-financial […]

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Ontario’s Corporate Tax Debate

Today’s Ottawa Citizen (page A15) features the following op-ed on Ontario corporate taxes. I have added links to references. I recently discussed this issue on TV Ontario: Corporate Taxes are Low Enough By Erin Weir, Ottawa Citizen, September 27, 2011 Corporate taxes are a major dividing line in Ontario’s election campaign. Liberals and Conservatives would slash the provincial general corporate […]

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Ontario NDP Platform: The Full Monty

Today, the Ontario NDP presented its comprehensive platform costing, including all policies announced during the election campaign. A popular theme among commentators has been that platform costings are unrealistic given the deteriorating economic outlook. As Andrea Horwath noted, her platform includes significant contingency funds. It is also cautiously built on the fiscal framework set out in the 2011 provincial budget. […]

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The Ontario NDP Platform

Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax credits would be valued at […]

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McGuinty’s Graph Misleads on Corporate Taxes

Further to Jim’s excellent critique of the Ontario Conservative platform’s graphs, I am similarly struck by the Liberal platform’s lone graph. “Cutting Ontario’s Taxes on New Business Investment in Half” (page 25) purports to show that corporate tax cuts are required to get the province’s “Marginal Effective Tax Rate” below the US and OECD averages. It compares projections of those […]

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Rationalizing Corporate Canada’s Cash Stash

Statistics Canada figures indicate that private non-financial corporations held $471 billion of cash in the first quarter of 2011 ($322 billion of Canadian currency plus $149 billion worth of foreign currency).  Including short-term paper would bring this total to half a trillion dollars, enough to pay off the national debt (i.e. accumulated deficit). Cash hoarding is a critical point in […]

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The Underground Economy and Business Tax Evasion

Statscan have produced interesting and important new estimates of the upper bound size of the “underground” or “non observed”  economy, putting it at a seemingly modest 2.2% of GDP in 2008. (Some of this is already included in GDP which is  adjusted to take into account some hidden and unreported economic activity.) The 2.2% estimate shows that we are a […]

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Evaluating Tax Cuts: You Read It Here First

Don Drummond has an op-ed in today’s Toronto Star concluding: Federal and provincial governments and the Canadian business sector should [establish] monitoring mechanisms that will permit regular reports to Canadians on whether the Canadian corporate tax revolution is producing benefits for them. As an advocate of corporate tax cuts, he believes that such benefits exist. I am more skeptical and […]

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Mintz is Right on “Small” Business Tax

One of my main undertakings on this blog has been to debunk Jack Mintz’s relentless advocacy of tax cuts for large corporations. However, I also give him credit when he proposes good policy, such as raising potash royalties and the small-business corporate tax rate. This past week, he was out with a paper on the latter subject. The small-business deduction […]

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