A panel advising Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has suggested increasing taxes – specifically on drivers - to fund its $50 billion transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
If approved, drivers would be pumped for another 5 cents/litre more in gasoline taxes. That would bring the tally to 19.7 cents/litre.
Drivers may soon pay approximately $800 million in new gasoline taxes and $80 million more in the HST applied to gasoline.
“The family car is not responsible for the lack of transit expansion in Greater Toronto and Hamilton,” explained TADA’s Frank Notte, director of government relations. “The Ontario Government should focus on better fiscal management, and stop wasting billions of dollars in order to fund transit expansion – rather than simply calling for an $880 million tax hike.”
According to reports, one funding option called for a three-cent/ litre jump in gas taxes in 2015, rising until motorists are paying 10 cents more for a litre of fuel in taxes.
Added to that would be an increase in corporate income tax of 0.5 per cent.
The second option was a recommended five-cent/ litre gas tax, a 0.5 per cent increase in corporate taxes and a portion of the HST be directed to transit infrastructure.
“Ontario has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The lack of transit funding is a direct result of Ontario’s out-of-control spending. Higher gasoline taxes will just give the government more money to waste. Instead, the government should look at prioritizing their existing $136 billion and growing budget,” Notte added.
According to Natural Resources Canada, the retail price of gasoline in Toronto on December 10 was $1.285 per litre, which included 39.5 cents in taxes (or 31 per cent). The Ontario government receives about $10 billion from drivers every year through at least nine different taxes and fees but only spent about $2.9 billion on provincial highways last year.