OTA digs in heels over diesel tax increase to fund transit

Truck News

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has taken a stance against a Metrolinx plan that would regionally raise diesel taxes by five cents per litre, with funds going towards transit initiatives in the Toronto and Hamilton areas.

“The trucking industry believes in paying its fair share for the infrastructure it uses. However, Metrolinx is a transit plan; it does not address the equally compelling need to maintain and upgrade the region’s or the province’s network of roads, highways and bridges,” said OTA president and CEO, David Bradley.

The OTA contends that tax revenues generated from commercial diesel fuel taxes and heavy truck registrations should be allocated to a dedicated provincial trust fund for road infrastructure.

“That’s where the trucking industry’s fuel tax dollars should be going,” Bradley said. “Truckers should not be expected to pay for transit. Unlike motorists who have a choice in terms of whether to drive or take transit, truckers have no such choice.”

The OTA also pointed out Ontario’s truckers are dealing with a 70% increase in commercial plate fees. “No other sector has been subjected to such an increase in user fees,” Bradley claimed.

Meanwhile, many heavy truck users – including mobile cranes, vacuum trucks, concrete pumpers, water trucks, etc. – are exempted from normal registration and licensing requirements. The OTA suggested the province should look there for a source of funding, noting this omission could be costing about $50 million per year. The exemption, according to OTA, stems from an old law exempting road-building machines from paying provincial registration fees.

“These vehicles are not asphalt spreaders, bulldozers and the like, which are clearly road-building machines that operate exclusively in construction zones,” Bradley says. “These are trucks; they serve many commercial purposes and customers, they operate on provincial highways and they impose wear and tear on the public infrastructure like any other motor vehicle. The only difference is they don’t pay anything,” Bradley argued. “Fifty million dollars would buy a lot of infrastructure; we have a hard time accepting that some trucks should pay more while others pay nothing. From a tax point of view these non-contributing trucks enjoy the same tax status as bicycles.” 

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data


  • Perhaps instead they should propose a sizeable fare increase for transit passengers to pay to subsidize something for the trucking industry! You know that would never happen.

  • Mr Bradley, I sometimes disagree with your comments because you tend to lean on the side of big business,BUT todays comment is right on the money ! do some of these bureaucrats think we small operaters do actually make large sums of money every day.Operating costs are sky rocketing all the time so metrolinx should look else where. Maybe the goverment should start subsidizeing the trucking industry.

  • Aaaaaaaaaaaawwwww come on David,you and your 50 best should be right behind this idea,hell they supported you in your 105 limit so there would a great fuel savings and less harm to the enviroment not to mention other great rules that have cost drivers wages, all that savings your group has saved ,they could share with the public so they can have a stress free ride to work.