Doug Ford promises tax cut for the middle income bracket

An Ontario Progressive Conservative government would implement a cut in the second Ontario tax bracket, party leader Doug Ford said Thursday.

Those earning $86K and up would see biggest savings

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford said Thursday he will cut the provincial income tax rate for those in the second tax bracket. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

An Ontario Progressive Conservative government would implement a cut in the second Ontario tax bracket, party leader Doug Ford said Thursday.

The rate reduction would apply on earnings between $42,960 and $85,923. The maximum savings for a taxpayer would be $786 per year, which would go to those earning $85, 923 and up, while most families would see more modest savings.

For example, the average Ontario worker earns a taxable income of $53,000. Under the current rate of 9.15 per cent, that worker pays $2,565 in provincial income tax. With a rate of 7.32 per cent, as promised by Ford, that same worker would pay $2,380, saving $185 per year — the equivalent of a 7.7 per cent cut.

A worker making $80,000 annually pays $4,360 in provincial income tax. Under a PC government, that figure would be $3,680, saving $680 per year, equal to a 15.6 per cent reduction in provincial income tax. 

The move will cost the province an estimated $2.3 billion, Ford told reporters at a morning news conference in Toronto. He added that the cut would not be implemented until 2020-2021.

Ford called the plan affordable and responsible, but provided no details on how it would be paid for or of the "inefficiencies" he says a Tory government would find. Ford previously pledged to reduce government spending by some $6 billion without firing workers, though details on that front are also scant. 

According to Vic Fedeli, PC candidate for Nipissing, the party chose to target the second bracket because many families who would also qualify for the PCs proposed child care rebate of 75 per cent fall within it. 

"This is a good, systematic way of getting money back into the pockets of the people of Ontario," Fedeli said. 

During a campaign stop at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children during which she announced that a Liberal government would hire 3,500 more nurses this year if elected, Kathleen Wynne said Ford's plan would mean fewer services.

"Cutting income tax means there is less that the government is going to be able to do," she said. 

Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne announced Thursday that, if elected, her government would hire 3,500 more nurses this year. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

"Doug Ford is campaigning on slogans. He is not explaining to people what it means when there is less money available to invest in health care, to invest in education," she continued. 

Wynne also took aim at Ford's promise to reduce Ontario's corporate tax rate from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent, saying it would translate into 12,000 fewer nurses in the health care system.

In her own response, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath reiterated her concern that Ford is not being upfront about what cuts he would implement to pay for his party's campaign commitments.