Ontario taxing safety: OTA

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TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) recently unveiled a new study showing that the province of Ontario levies a higher sales tax load on its trucking industry than any neighbouring North American jurisdiction.

The study, conducted for the OTA by Deloitte and Touche Chartered Accountants, compared how Ontario taxes its truckers compared to Manitoba, Quebec, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. It found that Ontario truckers pay more sales tax on equipment, maintenance and repairs than truckers in the other jurisdictions and is level only with Quebec in taxing insurance premiums. The OTA estimates that this disparity in sales tax rates amounts to about $200-million in additional charges for the Ontario trucking industry that neighbouring industries generally avoid, either through exemption or input tax credits.

Association president David Bradley presented the findings early last month to the Ontario government’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Bradley told the all-party committee, “These sales taxes are taxes on safety. The more Ontario motor carriers invest in upgrading and maintaining their equipment, or taking out additional insurance, the more tax they pay. This study shows that Ontario sticks out like a sore thumb as one of the few North American jurisdictions that taxes commercial transportation equipment, automobile insurance and maintenance and repair parts and labor.” n

Province lowers WCB rates

The Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board has lowered the average premium rate paid by employers for the fourth year in a row. The new 2000 premium rates decreased by an average of 5.4 per cent. The premium paid by employers in the trucking industry specifically was lowered by 6 per cent from the 1999 rate. The rate for warehousing employers was lowered by 18 per cent. n

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