No one likes paying taxes, but like death, they’re a certainty. What we can do, however, is try to ensure that our taxation system is fair to all taxpayers and promotes economic growth.

Recommendations for improvements to the tax structure in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) are made in Spend & Tax: Improving efficiency and accountability of taxation in HRM by Harry Kitchen, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

Spend & Tax analyzes a number of tax options and recommends several changes to the way in which HRM raises revenue. Kitchen recommends that HRM be permitted to implement several new types of taxes; however, allowing the city to diversify its taxing tools should not be misconstrued as a call for higher taxes overall.

While having efficient and effective taxes will be important contributors to HRM’s economic health, so too will having overall tax burdens that are low and competitive.

The paper adopts a model that promotes allocative efficiency, accountability, transparency, and fairness. With the aim of providing the best possible economic advice, political constraints, such as the need for provincial approval of some recommendations, are not addressed.

To read the complete paper, click here.