Friday, February 16, 2018

Ontario 2018 Third Quarter Income Tax Revenues $1.3 Billion Below Forecast

The Toronto Star had a good article with the headline: "Ontario dips into reserves to cover increased costs of free tuition and college strike." 

There is a lot of interesting tidbits about Ontario government finances in the third quarter, ending December 1st. What I found most interesting was this:

"The revenues from personal income taxes totalled $33.3 billion, $1.7 billion lower than forecast." 
That seems somewhat strange to me, considering that employment growth has been relatively strong in Ontario this year. That's a 3.9% miss, which isn't insignificant. Possibly the jobs created, or Ontario's jobs overall have been part-time or low paying when the provincial taxes paid aren't much for low earners versus high earners. Maybe this had something to do with it: 
"Corporations tax revenue was almost $1.6 billion higher than expected at $15.4 billion."
Possibly high earners with marginal tax rates well above 50% in Ontario still turning to private corporations?
Lower housing sales in the third quarter likely contributed to lower land transfer taxes:
"Revenues came in $115 million higher, with drops in personal income taxes and land transfer taxes offset by higher revenues from corporation taxes and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation."
With total sales in Ontario really down in January, that has to be a drag on Ontario GDP, even well beyond the lower land transfer taxes. Certainly realtor incomes will be way down.