EXPERT PANEL TO RECOMMEND HIGHER GAS TAX TO PAY FOR TRANSIT

Dec 12, 2013

By Scott Walker

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A report recommending how to pay for transit expansion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area says the best revenue tool is the gasoline tax.

The expert panel was led by Ryerson University’s Anne Golden. It was charged with the task of selecting from all the options to pay for the “Big Move,” the $50-billion transit plan for the GTHA.

Government sources confirm the report will recommend an increase of at least five cents per litre in the gas tax to pay for the plan.

The panel is not expected to recommend road tolls, parking levies, or an increase to the HST.

The gas tax is currently 14.7 cents per litre. It has not increased in twenty years. A five-cent increase would bring in about $800-million a year. That’s well below the two billion that Metrolinx says it will need.

The panel could also advise the province to increase corporate taxes and fees to developers who would benefit from better transit.

The report will also likely recommend that the money raised for transit go into a special, transparent fund that can’t be used by the government for other purposes.

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