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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47



The settler in British Columbia at present pays no taxes except the road-tax, and a tax which is paid indirectly to the General Government of Canada, averaging about 12½ per cent, on imports. The Government of the Province is supported by an annual fixed subsidy from the General Government of Canada. Moderate taxation may be imposed in future in the province by the Provincial Legislature, to enable improvements to be made for the advantage of settlers.

This is a contrast to the heavy Federal and State taxes, and burdensome indirect taxes paid by settlers in the United States.

The advantage which a settler in British Columbia has, in respect of taxation, over a settler in Washington territory, Oregon, California, or other States of the Union, is, that the British Columbian settler pays about 12½ per cent, all round on what he consumes, and the United States settler pays about as follows:—

The farmer in the United States is taxed for trousers he wears 60 per cent.; flannel shirt, 65 per cent.; vest, 60 per cent.; on the cloth for an overcoat, 60 per cent.; for the buttons, 40; braid, 60; lining, 60; padding, 150; boots, 35; coal, 60; 150 per cent, on the stove-pipe; stove, 55; 40 per cent, on the saucepan. His dinner plate is taxed 45 per cent.; his knife and fork, 35 per cent. His hat is taxed 70 per cent.; cigar, 150 per cent.; horse-shoe nails are taxed 67 per cent.; plough, 45 per cent.; chains, 100 per cent.; and harness, 35 per cent. His pocket handkerchief, 35 per cent.; shawls for his wife and daughter, 200 per cent.; silk dress for Sunday and holiday, 60 per cent.; woollen dress, 100 per cent.; wife and daughter's hats, 40 per cent.; stockings for his family, 75 per cent.; female boots, 35 per cent.; ribbon bow for neck, 60 per cent.; umbrella, 60 per cent.; rice, 82; soap, 70 per cent.; candles, 40 per cent.; paint, 25 per cent.; starch, 50 per cent.; needles, 25 per cent.; thread, 73 per cent.; steel pen, 70 per cent.; pins, 35 per cent.; books, 25 per cent. His fowling-piece is taxed 35 per cent.; window curtains, 80 per cent.; window shades, 35 per cent.; window glass, 55 per cent.; wall paper, 32 per cent.; wash basin, 40 per cent.; sheeting, 55 per cent.; blanket, 540 per cent.!! His bedstead is taxed 20 per cent.; if sick and needs quinine, it is taxed 45 per cent., besides the glass phial in which he buys it. His axe is taxed 45 per cent.; hammer, 50 per cent.; watering-pot for garden, 35 per cent.; pocket-knife, 50 per cent.; scythe, 50 per cent.; screws, 150 per cent.; garden and farm implements, 45 per cent.; dinner-can, 35 per cent.; well-bucket, 60 per cent.; hand-saw, 75 per cent.; and his produce is carried to market on steel rails taxed at 3000 dollars a mile, and which he must pay for in exorbitant freight. The iron car in which his crop is conveyed is taxed 40 per cent., and the locomotive which draws it all, and which draws so much unnecessary profits from his crop, is taxed 45 per cent.

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The United States settler, additionally, has to pay a State tax, which each State collects for State purposes. In New York State this amounts to 11½ dollars (46 shillings English) per head. In British Columbia, there are, as above said, no provincial taxes at present except a trifling tax for roads.

The British Columbian farmer gets higher prices for his farm produce than the average price obtained in the United States.