New Brunswick’s rising, per-worker tax burden

By Patrick Webber
Research Associate

The average New Brunswick worker has seen a noticeable uptick in the amount of real dollars that the provincial government is taxing out of their income in recent years.

The chart above displays, in 2016 dollars adjusted for inflation, the amount of revenue from income tax that the New Brunswick government collects divided by the average number of people employed in the province during the relevant fiscal year.

As one can see, the New Brunswick government got a rather steady amount of income tax revenue for every working citizen between 2000-01 and 2013-14, albeit with some brief peaks of note (namely 2007-08 to 2009-10). Beginning in 2012-13, however, a relatively rapid increase in the amount of income taken out of paycheques began, with the amount of income tax revenue per worker jumping 32.7 percent between 2012-13 and 2015-16. Indeed, the last three years represent 21st-century records for the average amount of income tax revenue derived from each working person in New Brunswick.

The number of employed New Brunswickers to tax has remained steady for the last decade, hovering between 350,000 and 361,000 since 2006. In other words, New Brunswick’s governments are trying to squeeze more income tax revenue from a stagnant number of workers.

Sources: Statistics Canada, CANSIM Tables 282-0087, 326-0021; Government of New Brunswick, Public Accounts and Main Estimates (for 2016-17 figures).

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