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Canadians have now been paying income tax for 100 years

(iStock image)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a centennial milestone you may not want to celebrate.

The federal government first brought in income tax 100 years ago today.

It was supposed to be a temporary measure to help finance Canada’s role in the first World War. The so-called Income War Tax Act was a relatively simple document just 11 pages in length.

A full century later, Aaron Wudrick with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) points out the law has ballooned to 3,100-pages.

He also has little optimism that income tax will be scrapped any time soon.

“It would certainly be a happy day for a group like ours if we were able to do that. I think the chances are slight,” he says. “I think we have to keep them low, and I do think we need to remember there’s more than one kind of tax.

“I think the cautionary tale to all Canadians is when governments promise you that something’s going to be temporary for just a little while, more often than not it turns out not to be the case,” Wudrick adds.

The CTF calculates that Canadians have paid a cumulative $4.9 trillion in federal income taxes over the past 100 years.