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OTA lauds business-friendly provincial budget

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is lauding a provision in the provincial budget that w...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is lauding a provision in the provincial budget that will harmonize the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) with the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST).


It’s a move the association has been endorsing for years now, according to OTA president David Bradley.


“In a low margin industry like trucking, taxes on business inputs, which a company must pay whether it is generating a profit or not, are regressive,” said Bradley.


“Truckers, more than many other industries in Ontario, and certainly more than our competition from other parts of Canada and from the United States, where key business inputs such as tractors, trailers, parts, etc., are either eligible for GST-type credits or are exempt from sales tax, have had to endure a situation where the more the more they invest in equipment that is more efficient, more productive, safer and more environmentally-friendly, the more tax they have had to pay.”


Harmonization will also free truckers from having to pay provincial tax on maintenance and repair labour costs, according to the OTA. While the PST was never intended to tax services, it was applied to shop labour. Bradley said OTA will work with the province to ensure truckers will receive input tax credits for this service.


The OTA also acknowledged other goodies for truckers in the provincial budget. The province will spend $1.7 billion in highways in 2009/2010 followed by another $2 billion in 2010/2011. Nearly a billion will be spent on the Windsor Gateway between now and 2011, according to the province.


“By investing in our transportation system and the highway network in particular, the Ontario Government is helping ensure the continued efficient movement of goods that manufacturers, shippers and exporters rely upon. We’re very pleased that transportation infrastructure is being given a high priority in this year’s budget,” Bradley said.


There will also be significant tax cuts for businesses over the next couple of years.


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