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CRTCs Fantasyland

September 10th, 2009

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and their bedmates, the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting (who lets face it, don’t call themselves Friends of Canadian Television and Radio Consumers for a reason), are presently all knickers-in-a-twisty over Rogers and Bells decision to pass an operating fee onto consumers as a tax. Their reason, it’s not a tax, and it was meant to be imposed on the broadcasters, not their customers. We now have a good clue how out of touch with reality the CRTC is.tv_satellite_dish__150_c_band_

The CRTC mandated fee is 1.5% of the companies gross operating revenue, to pay a Local Programming Improvement Fund – also CRTC mandated. Somehow, the CRTC, and their pals, think a government body, imposing a mandatory fee on a Canadian entity, to be paid regardless of profitability, is somehow not a tax. Weasel words and left-wing advocatory groups do not change the fact that government confiscation of wealth is always a tax. You can agree or disagree with the tax, but there’s no denying what it is. Note too, it is 1.5% of gross revenue. If Rogers was running a $50M loss on revenues of $100M, they would till owe their 1.5% of $100M.

But the real delusion happens when they complain of the tax being passed onto consumers. Companies always pass on tax increases to consumers: companies don’t pay taxes, their customers do and this tax increase merely illustrates that.

It illustrates another thing that everybody should already know: the CRTC does not work in reality, but in some fantasyland where people will watch what some bureaucrat tells them to and a mandatory payment from private sector to government control is not  a tax.


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