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Musings: On Taxes and Take Aways...

I spent yesterday afternoon beginning to work on the annual filing of income taxes for myself and members of our family. Some people dread the process – and while I can’t say I enjoy it, I do find the calculations fascinating, and I am reminded time and time again of how fortunate I am to live in this country… and yes, be able to contribute to the society I am a part of by paying taxes.


Last week I had opportunity to edit (not very well I am afraid) a paper that one of our daughter’s wrote for her economics class on housing and barriers to getting into the housing market… and that got me to thinking about tax policy in Canada and how just or discriminatory it is toward those already disenfranchised.


There are different types of taxes in Canada: income, sales, property, and corporate tax. Income tax in Canada makes up the largest portion of the federal government’s revenue. In fact, it generally funds almost half of the federal government’s budget. Both Corporate tax and Sales tax each account for about fifteen percent of the federal government’s revenue. Like many other countries, income taxes in Canada are progressive: the more you earn, the more taxes you will pay.


In Canada we also enjoy several deductions and non-refundable tax credits that together seek to even the field for folk who have disabilities, medical challenges or other situations in which society has determined some accommodation is needed, such as those who are students.


 I can remember sitting with my father at the dining room table doing my taxes with him for the first time… with a pencil and paper – and on Friday evening during my visit to PEI the roles were reversed, I did his and my mother’s taxes using Turbo Tax, claiming care giver benefits, medical expenses and splitting their income as a way to lower their tax burden – in recognition, that as seniors they have long contributed to both the economy and society as a whole.


My main take away from all of this is that I don’t know enough about the systems of taxation in Canada. What works? What doesn’t? Why? Why not? It looks like there is some more reading in my future… but first I must finish filing my own taxes!





Looking Ahead

Today I was out and about all day attending meetings and pastoral visits. On Tuesday I have two pastoral visits scheduled for the morning and two meetings planned for the afternoon.


On Wednesday I have two meetings scheduled for the morning and then at 6:30PM I will gather with the Executive for their Grounding meeting.

I am taking Thursday off to use up some accumulated overtime. I will be off duty (rest and reading) from March 9th through to and including March 17th. Thank you to Ellie Hummel for leading the Sunday Gathering on March 10th and Catherine Gaw for offering leadership on Sunday March 17th.


 The Rev. Scott Stuart of Mount Royal United Church will be covering any pastoral emergencies during my absence. Scott can be reached at (506) 295-8089. 


I will be back in circulation on Monday March 18th and with you for Palm Sunday on March 24th! Until then, blessings and peace!

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