TORONTO, May 27, 2013 /CNW/ - CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) congratulates Metrolinx on the release of its report to the provincial government on how to fund The Big Move, after several years of preparation. In its report, the government agency includes nearly two dozen recommendations including how to accumulate approximately $2 billion annually over the next 25 years. Unfortunately, the recommendations fail to fully reflect the parameters set out in Finance Minister Charles Sousa's recent budget.
When discussing potential revenue sources, both Metrolinx and the Minister of Finance have alluded to fairness as a key principle. On page 31 of the 2013 Ontario budget, it notes that "any revenue tool should not unfairly impact one type of commute or community over another."
"The release of Metrolinx's report ushers in the next phase of discussions to fund the Big Move," said Elliott Silverstein, manager of government relations, CAA SCO. "While we are pleased that dedicated funding, a repeated call and a core issue for CAA, is highlighted, we are concerned that almost all of the taxes are easily transferable to consumers and could significantly impact household budgets, particularly those who don't have options but to drive. For example, if businesses offload parking and fuel costs, the result will be a punitive one, where road users will be required repeatedly to open their wallets."
In today's announcement, Metrolinx is recommending to the provincial government to introduce the following:
- A 5 cent per litre fuel tax
- A 1 per cent sales tax
- A 25 cent per day parking levy
- A 15 per cent increase in development fees
CAA SCO has been actively working with industry stakeholders and government officials, and reaching out to its 1.9 million members, in an effort to represent motorists and the public. Last month, CAA SCO held a telephone town hall where nearly 27,000 York Region residents shared their thoughts on The Big Move and their willingness to pay for the plan through revenue sources.
"In a recent survey, 88% of members surveyed said that any funding collected should be dedicated, and nearly three quarters said that transportation funding is a shared responsibility among taxpayers, road users, and businesses," Silverstein added.
CAA welcomes the creation of an advisory panel by the provincial government and the Minister of Transportation in an effort to determine next steps in this region-wide transportation expansion. In the coming days and weeks, CAA is eager to meet with Minister Glen Murray and other MPPs at Queen's Park to ensure motorists and the general public is not disproportionately burdened where families could possibly pay in excess of $1,000 annually to fund The Big Move.
Earlier this month, CAA SCO posted an infograph detailing the cost to consumers from various revenue sources, and can be accessed at http://www.caasco.com/Community-Action.aspx.
CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club offering roadside services, automotive care, travel and insurance. There are more than 1.9 million CAA members in South Central Ontario and over 5.6 million members in Canada. We're more than Roadside Assistance. We're Life-side Assistance.
SOURCE: CAA South Central Ontario
For further information:
Media contact: Silvana Aceto, Media and PR Specialist, CAA SCO, firstname.lastname@example.org, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930 or Jeff LeMoine, Communications Specialist, email@example.com, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641.