Small businesses give infrastructure taxes a thumbs down
Small business owners support the development of new transit infrastructure, but the push by the government for higher taxes and fees to pay for such projects is getting a big thumbs down from local job-creators, according to a survey of over 1,300 CFIB members.
We surveyed small business owners on government plans to fight traffic gridlock. The results reveal that 84 per cent want new projects to be paid by using existing revenue, not by hiking taxes or introducing new ones. Furthermore, almost as many (83 per cent) do not trust the provincial government to spend such tax revenue for the purposes they were intended.
The Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel is recommending the province imposes combinations of phased-in gas and fuel tax increases, a corporate income tax hike, and an increase in the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
Small businesses strongly oppose new or higher taxes to fund infrastructure projects. In fact, 75 per cent of small business owners would be unlikely to vote for a candidate in the next municipal or provincial election who would support new or higher taxes.
CFIB is recommending:
- Funding projects through existing revenues. This could be accomplished by finding a mere 1.6 per cent efficiencies in the existing budget;
- Eliminating the 30 per cent advantage that public sector workers make in compensation and benefits over their private sector counterparts; and
- Reducing the cost of contracts by using competitive bidding with non-union suppliers and delivery date/project overrun penalties.
We're asking the government to give these funding alternatives a serious consideration. Fighting traffic gridlock with new taxes and fees may bring the economy to a screeching halt. Let’s not swap one problem for another.
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