Majority supports tax hikes on corporations and higher incomes
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
An opinion survey conducted earlier this year and released last Thursday shows that a majority of British Columbians support an increased income tax rate on incomes over $100k, a higher corporate tax rate, and a slight tax height on their own incomes if certain favoured policy changes were made in Victoria. The majority was held amongst participants who identified as voters of all major BC political parties.
The survey conducted by Environics Research for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives collected online data from 1,023 British Columbians and nine group interviews across the province studied BC residents’ beliefs on who should pay more taxes in society and the likelihood of accepting trade-offs in tax increases in return for policy implementation that better quality of life.
Some of the most popular policy trade-offs highlighted in the 23-page report were expanded senior care, which 69 per cent of participants would pay more taxes to sustain, elimination of MSP premiums, and greater protections extended to BC forests. The study concluded that a majority of British Columbians supported these policy ideas.
“We’ve had this idea that tax increases are a no-go zone in BC,” said study leader Shannon Daub, Director of Communication with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office. “But public opinion is shifting, and if anything our political leaders are behind the curve. Not only do most British Columbians want to see tax increases at the higher end of the income ladder, they are prepared to pitch in themselves—if they know the money will support concrete changes, and if we do tax policy in a transparent way.”
Without being proposed the idea of higher taxes for preferred policies, 71 per cent of British Columbians held the belief that they currently pay too much income tax. Only three per cent of those surveyed said they don’t pay enough income tax. The only major demographic variation on this belief was with age—younger British Columbians (those under the age of 45) were more willing to pay higher income tax.
The study also found that a majority of British Columbians underestimate the extent of income inequality. In BC, the top 20 per cent of earners make 44 per cent of income wealth. Those surveyed guessed the number to be 34 per cent.
The CCPA’s funding for the survey was provided by individual donors and the BC Government & Service Employees’ Union, BC Teachers’ Federation, Canadian Federation of Students, and other major public sector unions.