Wings Magazine

Taxes on aviation fuel could be going up: Ontario budget

April 30, 2014, Toronto - The Ontario budget will increase taxes on high income earners, tobacco and aviation fuel, according to a document obtained from a source outside the Liberal government.

April 30, 2014  By The Canadian Press

What is said to be a 2014 budget overview prepared for the Liberal
cabinet and provided to The Canadian Press on condition that the source
remain anonymous says the government will increase personal income taxes
on "higher-income earners."


The document does not specifically define that income level or say
how big a tax increase is planned for upper income earners. But a
Toronto Star report Tuesday quotes sources as saying the new tax will be
levied only on income earned above $150,000.


Premier Kathleen Wynne had already ruled out hiking taxes on the
middle class to pay for transit and infrastructure, and rejected
recommendations to increase the tax on gasoline or boost the HST.


The purported cabinet document also says the Liberals will phase in a
four-cent-per-litre tax hike on aviation fuel over four years, restrict
tax credits for large corporations and stop construction companies from
claiming the fuel tax exemption.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa's spokesman Andrew Chornenky would not
confirm or deny the authenticity of the document. He and the premier's
spokeswoman, Zita Astravas, also would not confirm or deny the reported
tax hikes.


The document says the increases are part of efforts to raise $29
billion over 10 years for public transit and infrastructure projects


Astravas would only say Sousa will be presenting a "bold plan" on
Thursday that will "help create jobs, build transit and infrastructure
and provide Ontarians with the retirement security that they deserve."


The document says the Liberals will also dedicate revenues from new
high-occupancy toll lanes to transit projects, something the New
Democrats call "Lexus lanes" and say they will not support.


It also indicates the Liberals planned to dedicate 7.5 cents of the
existing provincial tax on gasoline and diesel fuel to transit, issue
so-called green bonds to raise cash for projects and is also prepared to
borrow money when needed.


Critics point out that dedicating gas tax revenues to transit and
infrastructure will leave a big hole elsewhere in the budget, when the
government is already facing an $11.3 billion deficit.


But the document says the Liberals hope to raise enough money to
replace 5.5 cents of the 7.5 cents per litre through new revenue tools
in the budget, including "personal income tax measures, tobacco tax
measures and revenue integrity measures."

Sousa recently talked about bringing private investors into Ontario
Power Generation, Hydro One and the LCBO to get a better return for
taxpayers, and the leaked document shows the Liberals will rely on
"certain asset sales," but offers no specifics.


It also says the government will set up two dedicated funds for
infrastructure, with $15 billion for the heavily-congested
Toronto-Hamilton corridor and $13.9 billion for the rest of Ontario.


The Progressive Conservatives have already made it clear they want an
election as soon as possible and will vote against Thursday's budget.


NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Tuesday she will read the budget
carefully before deciding if her party can support the Liberals for the
third consecutive budget or if they will team with the Tories to defeat
the minority government and trigger a June election.


There have been other leaks of budget documents. Earlier this month, the Progressive Conservatives released documents they obtained that detailed a month-long rollout of pre-budget announcements.


Although the Liberals refused to confirm details, many of the
announcements were made according to the schedule outlined in the leaked


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