Clarifying have and have not city calculations

Just a few quick points in response to several emails I received on my latest G&M post.   First, here is the full table of all CMA and CA areas for the reliance on government transfer income and average income tax contribution.

I also want to say that I am not drawing any conclusions here about the government transfer income per se.    All government transfer income – CPP, OAS, EI, workers’ comp, social assitance, child tax credits, etc. is there for a reason.  That debate is for another day.  I am just saying that the ratio between employment income and government transfer income matters.  The national average is 18 cents worth of government transfer income per $1.00 of employment income.  As is shown in the chart, there are now many communities in the 25, 30 and up to 72 cents range (Elliot Lake).

I think most people would agree there is some threshold where this ratio starts to become a problem.  Is it 20 cents?  30 cents 40 cents?   All I am saying is that we are there already with a number of communities and those same communities – for the most part – also contribute well below average income tax revenues.  That was my definition of a ‘have not’ community – well above average reliance on government transfer income and well below contribution to income taxes.

To those who think the analysis was ‘high level’ – I agree.  These columns are a place to discussion issues and trends – not to fully exhaust a large scale public policy issue.

I think this type of analysis is needed and should be part of our debate.


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One Response to Clarifying have and have not city calculations

  1. The amounts of transfers seem to be directly related to demographics. Elliot Lake is a retirement community and so I would expect that most residents would be receiving CPP & OAS while Wood Buffalo is very much a work camp for the oil fields and so I doubt that anybody retiring or on assistance would stay around.
    Some correction for these demographic realities would be needed before we can claim that a certain threshold is problematic.

    Do these transfer figures include equalization & health transfers? I would have thought that the NB cities would have had a positive tax per taxfiler.

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