Saskatchewan - Commentaries
Tax audit or root canal
April 25, 2007According to a national poll commissioned by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), Canadians would rather have a root canal than a tax audit. Since an income tax was established in the 1917 as temporary measure to pay for the Great War, Canadian tax laws have become so complicated and punitive that the mere thought of an audit evokes a dull ache in the pit of the stomach.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Public money helps NDP's bottomline
April 15, 2007Saskatchewan's NDP has a long and sordid history of using crown corporations and government department budgets to further their political interests. In fact, they have been manipulating voters with public money for so long that taxpayers have become very ho-hum about it all.
This needs to change.
A few years ago the province handed out "energy rebate" cheques to compensate voters for high energy prices. Ironically, they used SaskTel to distribute the money through credits on phone bills. It's still a mystery what phone lines have to do with gas prices.
"Boutique" tax cuts not meant for broad appeal
April 01, 2007Saskatchewan's 2007 provincial budget has a little something for almost everyone - unless you happen to be a middle-class working family.
If you're a senior citizen over the age of 65, the government will pay for most of your prescription drugs. If you're a recent graduate of a post-secondary program, you'll enjoy a $5,500 tax break over the next five years.
Note to Finance Minister: It's not raining
March 05, 2007If you were Finance Minister, what would do when revenues are soaring and, in fact, higher than ever Many argue smart money is on paying down debt, cutting taxes, and saving for the future.
Yet it seems, for this government, the foundation of its re-election bid is busting open the piggy bank.
From millions spent on new housing subsidies to free wireless internet for the latte-sipping urban crowd and sweetheart deals for public sector unions, there seems to be no shortage of spending priorities.
Government has no business being in business
February 14, 2007Governments are terrible at picking business winners and losers but business losers are great at picking governments. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the Saskatchewan government has yet to figure this out.
Saskatchewanian's have endured insult added to injury over the years seeing hundreds of millions flushed down the toilet in failed business ventures. $800 million lost on the Meadow Lake Pulp Mill, $40 million lost on a whacky potato venture or millions more lost on internet startup Navigata, taxpayers have clearly had the proverbial fork stuck in them.
Yet another taxpayer-funded election campaign
January 29, 2007Surprise, surprise! The NDP has launched another advertising campaign and you, dear taxpayer, are paying for it. Not only are you paying for it, but you're also the target audience. The government wants you to feel good about the province, and to keep on doing what you are doing - living here and electing NDP governments.
Urban reserve not good for business
January 19, 2007Normally a new development in Regina's north central neighbourhood would be welcomed with open arms by the business community and taxpayers alike. This is, after all, the neighbourhood skewered in the now infamous Maclean's magazine article which dubbed it "Canada's worst neighbourhood."
Nonetheless, this particular development has not been warmly greeted by many Regina taxpayers.
SGEU strike: What about taxpayers
January 03, 2007In the noise of an angry labour dispute between the government and civil servants, the voice of taxpayers is but a whisper. It's curious that whenever there is public employee strike we hear endlessly about the complaints, grievances and salary demands of union members but never are taxpayers asked how much they are willing to pay.
2006 was a good year for Saskatchewan taxpayers
December 19, 2006Saskatchewan taxpayers can rest easier over the holidays knowing that real progress was made toward lightening our tax load. In many respects, 2006 was a remarkable year for the province.
The good news actually began in 2005 with the establishment of the Business Tax Review Committee (BTRC). The very existence of the committee was a small victory in that the government finally succumbed to pressure from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF and others) by acknowledging there is a problem with Saskatchewan's business tax structure.
The state has no business in the refrigerators of the nation
December 07, 2006by Troy Lanigan and David Maclean
For too many politicians and bureaucrats most problems can be solved with a healthy serving of taxation and a side order of regulation. The latest Taxing and regulating "bad foods" to tackle the obesity epidemic!
Those very smart persons in government and academia conclude that if we taxed Big Macs and Eat More bars that we'd all reduce our consumption of "bad foods" and fill the streets with Lance Armstrong look alikes. The concept is nothing new.