Opinion Letters

Letters to the editor: Praise for community choir; not so much praise for the press in reporting public sector salaries over $100,000

By Pembroke Daily Observer

Very impressed by Community Choir
On the evening of April 22nd I attended the Pembroke Community Choir concert at Calvin United Church. I was impressed as I have attended many choirs and concerts throughout Canada and the world and this event was equal to or above what I have paid hundreds of dollars to hear. We here in Pembroke are very privileged to have such a group of artists. Both Gerald Laronde and Darlene Termarsch are to be thoroughly congratulated.  It was a wonderful performance.
It is sad that it is not repeated in a larger venue for more to hear.
Congratulations are well in order to all who performed. I thank you all for the opportunity of hearing such wonderful music.
William S. (Bill) Halkett

High public sector income earners also pay high taxes
Each year, the “Sunshine List” is headline news that identifies some of the highest paid public sector employees in our area. In my opinion, this is a biased view since non-public sector business owners or employees are excluded yet some easily exceed $100,000 per year.
Also, you never mention how much income tax the people on your list will pay and the larger contribution they therefore make to our country. For example, if you earn $93,209 - $144,489, then your combined federal and provincial tax is $21,678 plus 43.41 per cent on the remainder. So for someone who earned $100,000, they would be taxed $24,626. If you earned $220,001 and over, your tax is $80,642 plus 53.53 per cent on anything over $220,001. Someone earning $300,000 will have a combined tax of $123,466 which means 41 per cent of their wages go to support Canada and Ontario. (All these calculations are based on Ontario tax rates for 2018.)
To put this in perspective, if I make $42,960, my combined tax is $6,319, which is a mere fraction of the high wage earners taxes. My contribution to my country and province is 14.7 per cent of my wages. It would take more than 19 people like me to make the same financial contribution to our society as one person earning $300,000.
In part, the high tax rates are to blame for high salaries in some public sectors. If you want to have qualified public employees, then you have to pay them or they will leave for the private sector. Also, in the private sector many business owners and employees have many legitimate ways to avoid taxes that public sector employees do not.
Hopefully next year when the 2018 Sunshine List article comes out, you can give us a better understanding of what this really means for citizens of Renfrew County.
Ted Hiscock

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