TORONTO, Ont. — The province of Ontario has announced increases to driver and vehicle licensing fees, which the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) warns could be the “first shoe to drop” as the province looks to eliminate its deficit.
The MTO, which hasn’t increased heavy commercial vehicle validation fees since 1988, says the charge will go up from $109 today to $142 on Sept. 1, 2012 for vehicles with a GVW of 3,001-3,500 kgs. A further increase to $185 is slated for 2013, representing a 70% increase over two years.
Vehicles with a GVW of 63,001 kgs to 63,500 kgs will see increases of roughly 70% as well over that same time frame, from $2,722 today to $4,601 in 2013.
The Class A driver’s knowledge test will go from $10 today to $15 in 2013.
Permits for oversize and overweight vehicles will also be going up. A single trip (dimension only) permit will go from $50 today to $65 in 2013 and a super load permit (GVW over 120,000 kgs) will go from $500 today to $700, a 40% increase.
“While it may have been inevitable that we would see higher commercial licence fees given the provincial government’s current fiscal challenges, it’s still a bitter pill to swallow; no one likes tax/fee increases,” said OTA chief David Bradley in response. He said the industry would have preferred to see the increases phased in over a longer period of time, so they could adjust their rates accordingly.
If it’s any consolation, the province says it will use the money generated through the fee increases to improve roads and bridges.
“Our government is making thoughtful choices to eliminate the deficit and keep Ontario’s economy on track, while making sure our roads and bridges remain in good repair,” said Transport Minister Bob Chiarelli. “We hope the extra money raised actually goes into the road/highway network and the bridges since revenues received by governments are not dedicated to any specific person and instead are deposited in general reserves.”
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