Ontario’s ‘Plan for the People’ hits right notes for small business owners

Changes to province’s passive income tax plans, red tape reduction highlight strong fiscal update for small employers

Toronto, November 15, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is congratulating the Ontario government for announcing several significant positive steps for the province’s small business owners in its fall fiscal update A Plan for the People; most notably becoming the first province to formally announce that it will not parallel the federal tax changes on passive income.

Not following the federal tax changes
“We are very pleased to see Premier Ford take a stand on small business taxes on behalf of Ontario small business owners,” said Plamen Petkov, CFIB vice-president, Ontario. “It is critical that the province maintain every tool possible to ensure small business competitiveness, and that includes access to the small business tax rate. CFIB thanks the premier and the finance minister for leading the way in recognizing the importance of independent business and keeping taxes competitive. CFIB has been urging all provincial governments to take this action. Hopefully Ontario’s move sets a precedent for them to follow.”

Red Tape Reduction
“In line with CFIB’s pre-election recommendations, we were very encouraged to see that the government is committed to reducing red tape across the province,” added Petkov. “Red tape is consistently among business owners’ top two cost burdens. The 25 per cent reduction by 2022 target sets a clear goal for government to meet by the end of its mandate. To ensure this target is met, we encourage the government to continue updating its total count of regulatory requirements.”

Introducing the Low Income Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit and increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption threshold
CFIB was particularly pleased to see that the government is helping low income earners while providing some relief to employers from this year’s 23 per cent minimum wage hike. The LIFT credit will keep more money in employee pockets without threatening jobs.  

“Additionally, increasing the Employer Health Tax (EHT) threshold by $40,000 to $490,000, effective next year will provide some much needed payroll tax relief, especially in light of the incoming federal Canada Pension Plan (CPP) increases,” said Ryan Mallough, senior policy analyst for Ontario. “CFIB remains committed to continuing its work with the province to gradually increase the EHT exemption to $1-million in the medium-term." 

Tackling the deficit
“Balancing the budget and reducing the debt were small businesses’ top pre-election priorities for the new government,” added Mallough. “It’s encouraging that the government has committed to a modest and reasonable timeline to bring the books back into balance. We look forward to more specifics in next year’s budget.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.