The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday, Sept. 28, edition that taxes are necessary because we must fund government services. The Globe's guest columnists Jeremy Kronick and William Robson write that Ottawa's coming levies on banks and insurers -- a corporate income surtax and the "Canada Recovery Dividend" -- do not qualify as "necessary." These taxes were part of last year's Liberal election campaign platform. The platform committed to raising the corporate income tax rate on bank and insurer profits above $1-billion from the 15 per cent other businesses pay to 18 per cent. It also proposed the Canada Recovery Dividend: a one-time 15-per-cent tax on 2021 profits above $1-billion. The argument for both taxes was that government support during COVID-19 had boosted the profits of banks and insurers, so it was time for them to repay.
The sight of some businesses prospering during the pandemic made many people angry, but anger rarely inspires wise actions. These targeted taxes will do a lot of damage.
The least damaging way to fund government services is through taxes that are neutral, levied on broad bases at low rates. For Mr. Kronick and Mr. Robson the proposed taxes strike the wrong balance.
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