ON Gov. Looks to New Tools To Raise Infrastructure Cash
TORONTO, ON — Ontario’s provincial government is considering new “revenue tools” – which could include taxes, tolls or asset sales –to raise $29-billion to fund much needed infrastructure upgrades in the province.
Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynne promised $29-billion in funding for subways, highways and bridges over the next 10 years in hopes of easing gridlock. The money will be raised through redirecting 7.5 cents per litre from current gas-tax revenues, plus the HST paid on the tax as well as other revenue tools which will be unveiled in the provincial budget expected next month.
The Ontario Trucking Association’s president, David Bradley, commented: “Assuming the allocation of seven cents per litre that is being allocated from the provincial gasoline tax is also applicable to the provincial diesel fuel tax, it is a better solution than some of the other so-called revenue tools that have been talked about and is more consistent with long-standing OTA policy.”
“OTA has always argued that the diesel fuel tax, is a road user tax, and should be dedicated to highway infrastructure as opposed to being funneled into the black hole of general revenues,” Bradley said. “The Premier… also announced that two dedicated infrastructure funds would be established – one for transit in the GTHA and one for transportation infrastructure (including roads and bridges) in the rest of the province.”
The money would be split into two separate funds: the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) will receive up to $15 billion for investment in transit, and the rest of the province will have $14 billion to spend on critical transportation infrastructure.
And that’s good news because diesel taxed should not go only to transit in the GTHA, Bradley said, adding: “Of course, we still have to wait for the provincial budget to see the details and to learn what other revenue tools will be introduced.”