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Finance committee  Thank you very much for inviting me to speak. I'm going to speak about the public transit tax credit. In the past couple of years, I've conducted research to try to understand the effectiveness of the public transit tax credit. Based on this research, as well as research conduct

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  This is a tax increase on the middle class.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  Okay, I got you.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  Yes. I have the numbers from the Department of Finance calculations here, using the Canada Revenue Agency claims, and they've analyzed who's claiming the tax credit and the amount of claims overall. They're finding that the lowest income people claim the tax credit less than tho

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  The way I understand it, very simply, is that it will work out as a transfer from people with $37,000 to $123,000 income to people earning less than $37,000.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  I don't know if I can pull that off the top of my head. Let's see.... The total number of claims is around 1.7 million.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  The public transit tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit. That's right.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  That's right.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  This is the main reason why I would conclude that this tax credit is regressive, that it doesn't benefit low-income people who don't pay income tax.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  That's right. There's a pretty big range of people who don't pay income tax.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  That's right. With regard to efficacy, the study I did suggested that this is not that effective of a tax credit. The overall effect is quite small, 0.25 a percentage point increase in transit.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  Right. It's a very small number.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  Right. I'm not able to make a comparison. I haven't studied the other side of things, but I would say this doesn't look like that big of a bang for your buck to me.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers

Finance committee  Right. You can have an opinion.

May 15th, 2017Committee meeting

Dr. Nicholas Rivers