Park the Tax Hike!

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:

Devon Pool
Retail Council of Canada
dpool@retailcouncil.org
416 467-3759


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