Business Education Tax reduction a major victory for OCC



    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - The provincial government has removed a
significant barrier to economic development with today's announcement of the
reduction in the Business Education Tax (BET) Rates by 2014.
    "The reduction in BET Rates is a major win for businesses in Ontario and
will lead to increased productivity, job creation and output," explains Len
Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). "Over
three hundred communities across this province will benefit from reduced
industrial and commercial tax rates totalling $540 Million, including such
places as Sault Ste Marie, Windsor and Northumberland County. This is a big
win for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce."
    A reduction in the BET was part of comprehensive tax policy reform
recommended by the OCC.
    "BET is the number one taxation issue for business in Ontario and today's
announcement represents a major victory for our members," adds Crispino.
"We'll work with the government towards a comprehensive tax policy reform to
further enhance our competitiveness in relation to our peer jurisdictions in
the US and overseas."
    "We're pleased to see a commitment to a balanced budget but our
enthusiasm is tempered by the absence of a strategy to ensure sustainable
healthcare funding and a comprehensive transportation and infrastructure plan
for Ontario's future," adds Crispino.
    The full OCC pre-budget submission to the Provincial Finance Minister can
be found on our website at www.occ.on.ca.

    The OCC represents over 57,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of
Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since
1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the
economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance &
taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.




For further information:

For further information: Amy Terrill, Director, Media Relations and
Communications, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241, C:
(416) 605-8205


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