Category: Learn Liberty

Libertarian Thoughts #5 – TAXATION FREQUENCY

In the first of these commentaries, I noted that there were three primary assaults on our freedom caused by government laws and regulations.  First, actions we may wish to take would now be prohibited; next, actions we may NOT wish to take would now be compelled; and finally, taxation (of all sorts) by government diminishes our ability to spend OUR funds as we might freely wish.

It is the third of these that is the subject of this commentary.

When we confront our non-libertarian contemporaries, I believe that our arguments can be strongly enhanced by the recitation of indisputable fact, particularly when those of our opponents   are backed up by non-factual emotional declarations – and little else.

Regarding matters of taxation, most people seem to ‘feel’ there is a vague threat that governments are taxing the public ‘too much’ and perhaps too frequently.  However, unless we can PROVE this is indeed the case, it is difficult to gain advantage for the Libertarian side.

My goal in this paper is to provide the PROOF that governments are recommending or enacting taxation, fees or other similar measures at a rate which can only be regarded as astonishing.  What follows is a documented list of such actions which have been either enacted or proposed SINCE THE BEGINNING OF 2018 (!). The data is taken from (somewhat) reliable publications – which are identified.

There is no attempt to provide arguments regarding the right and wrong of each measure – but only to provide proof of their frequency – and thereby to allow an informed judgement regarding their probable collective impact on society.  The list will include the date, name of publication and a short description of the measure. Also, I believe that every increase in revenue to the government based on direct taxation, indirect taxation, fees, fines and payment for government services qualifies as a ‘taxation measure.’

(Personal note:  Since I live on Vancouver Island, many articles are taken from the Victoria Times-Colonist (TC) which I read daily.  Many of those articles are sourced from various news agencies such as the Canadian Press (CP) and Associated Press (AP).

2018

March 21 – Yahoo-Finance – “The European Union on Wednesday unveiled new plans to make high tech companies pay more taxes…”

March 20 – Parksville–Qualicum Beach News – The Regional District of Nanaimo is considering its own fees for applications for a non-medical cannabis distribution license.

March 16 – National Post – Discussion of increases in already-existing provincial Carbon Taxes.  Also, discussion of proposed NEW federal carbon tax.

March 15 – TC, CP – “Speculation Tax” opposition grows.”  The tax would, “…apply to properties owned by people who do not pay B.C. income tax.”

March 8 – Nanaimo News Bulletin (NNB) – “This month, ICBC increased penalties for drivers who have been repeatedly ticketed for distracted driving…”

March 8 – NNB – “Vancouver Island University steers toward increasing parking rates by 50%…”

March 8 – TC, CP – Headline, “Thousands facing tax for their empty homes” discusses impact of Vancouver’s new ‘empty homes tax’.

March 2 – TC – “Hydro rates to rise 3% after freeze rejected.”

February 28 – TC – “Tax hurts small business” – discusses impact of new health tax on employers with payrolls of over $500,000…”

February 22 – TC – “Gas-Tax hike to fuel region transit boost…government to raise the tax from 3.5 cents per litre to 5.5 cents…”

February 21 – TC – Headline:  “B.C. Budget – Raft of tax measures to help pay for child care, homes and health…”

February 21 – Financial Post, CP – “British Columbia is raising its foreign-buyers tax and expanding it to areas outside of Vancouver while bringing in a new tax on speculators…”

February 17 – TC, CP – “Trump weighing options for global tariffs on steel…”

February 6 – Wall Street Journal (WSJ) – “…Cash-strapped American cities are increasingly asking (demanding???-LM) their residents to pay higher amounts for mundane services…In 73 U.S. cities fees and fines increased by a collective US$182 million in 2017…”

January 31 – WSJ – Headline:  “Connecticut governor proposes Raising Gas Tax, Adding Highway Tolls.”

January 17 – TC, CP – Discusses ‘positive impact’ of a new Federal tax measure which, “…limits the use of passive investment income by the top three percent of the wealthiest incorporated individuals…”

January 9 – National Post – Joe Oliver, Former Minister of Finance, declares, “…Carbon tax policy is about to spiral from dysfunctional into madness…”

January 4 – Financial Post headline – “Alberta’s carbon tax rises by 50% – tied with B.C. for highest rate in the country.”

…………

It is hard to imagine this many articles relating to increasing government revenues in less than one-quarter of a year, but there they are – and I have the printed proof for every one of these on the list.  Also, I can assure readers that my files for 2017 and previous years show a similar astonishing rate of accumulation of articles relating to increasing taxation. And, it must be noted, these items have been gleaned from a very few publications and when one considers how many others have likely been reported in hundreds of other local or national news media sources, the situation could easily become increasingly perilous going forward.

It all relates to the following famous quote, attributed to the late President Reagan:

“If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And, if it stops moving, subsidize it.”