Thursday, August 04, 2005

Progressive enough for ya?

Babble on.

As it turns out, maybe the Lord High Mucketymucks at CPC Galactic Headquarters didn't get the idea of transit tax breaks from the Dippers after all. Maybe they got it from one of their provincial colleagues, sitting on the Opposition benches at Queen's Park.

The Bill amends the Income Tax Act to permit taxpayers to obtain a non-refundable income tax credit for expenses that they incur and pay for using public transit. If another person pays the expenses on behalf of the taxpayer, that other person is entitled to the tax credit.

I'm no legal beagle, but it seems to me this includes both an incentive for individual taxpayers, and one for employers, should they pay on behalf of the employee. It doesn't address any of the other issues I've raised: incentives for telecommuting, infrastructure funding to handle increased demand, or the questionable political effect of this one policy in isolation. Although, I admit upon reflection that the tax credit for existing transit users coming from the suburbs - those more likely to vote Conservative provincially and federally - might help bring some Harris voters back into the fold.

Here's the bigger problem, though: the bill is a private member's offering from the Opposition side of the legislature, and as such, it has a snowball's chance in hell of ever becoming law. Unless there's a groundswell of support...

Apropos of nothing at all, here's contact information for the Ontario Minister of Finance, Minister of Transportation, and Premier. In case you wanted to get something off your chest.

Babble off.


At 2:57 p.m., Blogger ferrethouse said...

These tax breaks have been in place south of the border for over 20 years. That is likely where the idea came from.

At 3:15 p.m., Blogger VW said...

The Tories have put the details up on their website.

At 3:24 p.m., Blogger Walsh Writes said...

Gee if Americans do this then it really is bad!!

I'm don't wanna be a lefty cry baby... waaahhhhaaaa.

At 4:43 p.m., Blogger Question Period said...

The idea has been kicking around for a long time. It was a last minute scratch from the 2003 federal budget and was last debated in the House as an opposition bill introduced by the Bloc in 2004.


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