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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Quebec’s Tax and Regulatory Burden

Economic Note by Montreal Economic Institute

Newly elected Premier Jean Charest stated that his government must lower taxes because the current load is hindering Quebec’s development. In this Economic Note the authors assess the size of the province’s tax burden and present a clear picture of the challenge awaiting the new government. On average, Quebec residents hand over more than 40 percent of their earnings to the government in taxes. Quebec’s taxes are both high and complex; the authors detail the range and nature of taxes paid by Quebecers. They also outline the regulatory burden the provincial government places on businesses and individuals.

As the authors explain, Quebec’s heavy tax and regulatory load result from specific conditions; specifically, the government controls more sectors of the economy, intervenes in more areas and does so more systematically than the province’s principal Canadian and US partners. In addition, the federal and provincial governments employ one in five workers. The authors assert that, as economic teachings show, “there are limits to how far the private sector’s productive capacity can be impaired to finance public sector activities.” At a certain point, they explain, tax and regulatory loads crush workers, businesses, and investors, thereby compromising economic dynamism. As Premier Charest emphasized in his inaugural address, this tax burden needs to be reduced; otherwise, Quebecers will remain North America’s most heavily-taxed citizens, and its living standards will not rise above its (at the time) ranking of fifty-second among the 60 states and provinces.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Montreal Economic Institute;
Publisher: Montreal Economic Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English French
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF, Hard Copy

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Reform
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Federal & Provincial Budget
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Quebec
Policy Articles / Economy / Provincial Economy
Policy Articles / Economy / State of the Economy
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living / 2003
Policy Articles / Economy / Provincial Economy / 2003
Policy Articles / Economy / State of the Economy / 2003
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Federal & Provincial Budget / 2003
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy / 2003
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Reform / 2003
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Quebec / 2003
Policy Articles / Children & Family
Policy Articles / Economy
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral


Keywords / Tags:

Quebec; Jean Charest; provincial government; provincial tax burden; high taxes; regulatory burden; private sector productive capacity; tax and regulatory burden; living standards; North America;