Retailers Welcome Debate on Transit Investment: Reject Ill-Considered
Parking Tax Proposal
TORONTO, May 27, 2013 /CNW/ - While welcoming the debate on transit
investment, retailers are deeply concerned with a flawed parking tax
recommendation contained in the Metrolinx report tabled today, said the
Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
"Retailers understand the pressing need for investment in transit and
transportation, on which we all rely for efficient movement of our
customers, employees and goods," said Diane J. Brisebois, President &
CEO of RCC. "Where we part company with the Metrolinx report is on the
suggestion of a new property tax on parking spots, which would be
certain to hurt Ontario consumers," added Brisebois.
The parking tax proposal is flawed in several respects, including an
ill-defined description of how it would operate. It would fall
disproportionately on retail merchants, relative to other business
enterprises. Retailers, in turn, would have little option but to pass
these costs on in the form of higher retail prices and these higher
prices would affect all purchases of groceries and general merchandise.
"A tax on free parking spaces is just another form of property tax and would
ultimately affect all consumers alike, whether they drive, take transit
or walk to the store," said RCC Senior Vice-President, David Wilkes.
"It would be a double-whammy for consumers, over and above Metrolinx
proposed 1% sales tax increase," Wilkes noted.
Retailers welcome a robust debate, both about needed investments in
transportation and transit and on the funding required to make those
investments. At the outset, however, retailers demand that certain
principles be established, among which are that any revenue measures
should be equitable, properly thought out and subject to strict
sunsetting provisions. Regrettably, Metrolinx's current proposal fails
that test on all counts.
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit
association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail
formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional
and national specialty chains, and online merchants.
SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada
For further information:
Retail Council of Canada