TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has announced the province of Ontario will extend the phase-in for heavy truck licence fee increases by one year.
The OTA says its lobbying helped convince the province to defer the 70% increase on commercial plate fees, which was originally announced in March 2012.
“I am pleased to advise you that the ministry is adjusting the fee schedule to implement the heavy commercial vehicle validation increase over a three-year period instead of a two-year period,” Transport Minister Glen Murray told the OTA in a letter. “The increase scheduled for December 2013 will now be an intermediate step. The final increase has been delayed by one year with an implementation date of December 2014. This change is in response to the concerns you raised that the trucking industry felt this increase to be steep and over too short a period of time.”
The original schedule had the fees increasing by 30% in December 2012 and then by another 40% in December 2013. The OTA launched its ‘Put the Brakes on the 70% Fee Increase’ campaign, which seems to have been effective.
Under the new schedule announced today, the fees will increases by about 22.3% on Dec. 1, 2013 compared to current levels and then by another 6.3% in December 2014.
“Although OTA had urged the government to cancel the fee increase altogether, this announcement to delay full implementation until 2014 provides carriers with some additional breathing space and allows them time to adjust contracts accordingly,” said OTA president David Bradley.
“A 70% increase in any expense item is a challenge,” added Bradley. “Unfortunately, when it comes to things like taxes and fee increases it’s very difficult to shut the barn door after the horses have bolted. Nevertheless, we welcome the minister’s announcement; the government has listened to the concerns of truckers, who, under the previous phase-in schedule, were being asked to bear a disproportionate toll of the increase in these tough economic times.”
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