Ontario considers raising the HST
Ontario is looking at a proposal to raise its harmonized sales tax, or HST, from 13 to 14 percent.
The proposal is part of a report by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency in charge of transit development in the Greater Toronto / Hamilton Area. Metrolinx is recommending a number of ways to raise money for its projects. Most of them only affect the GTHA, including increased regional gas taxes, parking levies and development fees.
But any increase in the HST would likely be province-wide. Metrolinx CEO, Bruce McCuaig, says "If the province decides to move forward on a province-wide basis the revenue collected outside the GTHA should fund priorities in other parts of the province."
That means the increased taxes collected in Ottawa could be used to help fund Ottawa transit development. Mayor Jim Watson is open to the idea. "The money has to come from somewhere. So I think we have to look at all different options. No one likes to raise taxes but at the same time we need investment in transit," says Watson.
The report by Metrolinx is now in the hands of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.