Member’s Statements — Taxation

November 19, 2014

Mr.Ernie Hardeman: I rise today to share the concerns of the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce about this government’s 148% aviation fuel tax increase. They said:
“We view our airports as one of the main drivers of growth in our region’s economy and we take a keen interest in the competitiveness of Canadian airports.

“We are specifically concerned over the impact this tax change has at local and regional levels. We want and need to see business and industrial traffic grow at our own Tillsonburg Regional Airport, and we want to stem the flow of thousands of people in the Tillsonburg and London region who regularly head to Detroit, Buffalo or Niagara over price issues.”

Earlier this week, we heard that government revenues once again failed to meet the projections. The chamber of commerce understands, as we do, that attempting to increase revenues by implementing huge tax increases is short-sighted. Other jurisdictions are reducing or eliminating fuel taxes because it creates new jobs, fuels economic growth and will result in increased government revenue.

This increase will be a cost to everyday people and companies-the people who live in remote communities, the child going to visit their grandparents, and a cost for companies to ship items by air. Some of those people will just make sacrifices as a result of this tax increase, and some will look for options outside our borders.

That’s why the Tillsonburg chamber of commerce and my colleagues on this side of the Legislature agree: It’s time to ground the flight tax increase.