TORONTO, Ont. — The OTA would like to see Ontario harmonize its PST with the GST and continue investment in strategic highway infrastructure.
This was the message OTA President David Bradley and Chairman George Ledson delivered yesterday morning to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at Queen’s Park. The McGuinty government plans to unveil its first budget this spring.
A key component of OTA’s presentation was the findings of the Institute for International Business (IIB) at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management on the impact of Ontario’s tax policy on Ontario based trucking companies with that of other sectors of the Ontario economy and the trucking industry based in three key US states — Michigan, Ohio and New York.
The study, commissioned by OTA in Fall 2003, found that on capital, Ontario-based trucking firms are at a staggering 31 per cent tax disadvantage compared to its U.S. competitors domiciled in these three states. IIB’s study further showed that an introduction of a harmonization of the PST with the GST would reduce the capital tax burden on Ontario carriers by 24 per cent.
The IIB study is that it factored in government investment on both sides of the border on such issues as health care, education and infrastructure to give a true picture of the tax burden borne by the trucking industry on both sides of the border.
“The trucking industry in the last few years has suffered attacks on its competitiveness from areas beyond its control — fuel, the new U.S. border security requirements, valuation change in the Canadian dollar and insurance rates," said David Bradley. "The low Canadian dollar, which once masked Ontario’s uncompetitive tax structure, is no longer available to the Ontario trucking industry. A harmonization of the PST with the GST would help improve Ontario’s businesses community ability to compete in this new business climate.”
OTA’s submission provides the Government of Ontario with global examples of how jurisdictions introduced a harmonized sales tax system that was good for the business community and sensitive to the various levels of family income.
Regarding infrastructure investment Bradley urged the Ontario Government to get on with the implementation of the 9-point plan to improve market access between the Province of Ontario and the State of Michigan. Download OTA submission at: http://www.ontruck.org/submissions/
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