Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council

August 10, 2005 11:58 ET

ATUCC Lobbies for Public Transit Tax-exempt Pass

Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council Says that Tax Breaks for Riders will Complement Existing Funding Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor, Transportation Editor MISSISSAUGA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 10, 2005) - The ATU, Canadian Council is pleased that Stephen Harper's proposed 16% tax rebate for transit riders has re-ignited debate on the issue of a tax-exempt pass. Transportation choice advocates such as the task force in which the ATUCC has played a central role, the National Task Force to Promote Employer Provided Tax-Exempt Transit Passes, have long advocated a change to the Income Tax Act to eliminate taxes on employer issued transit passes.

Since the U.S. government introduced tax-exempt benefits for transit almost 20 years ago their ridership has, according to C.U.T.A., increased almost 25% amongst those offered the benefit. The benefits to the environment accrued through a reduction in vehicle emissions and a reduction in the inequity between motorists who receive free employer provided parking and transit users who get no comparable benefit are all valid reasons for the ATUCC to, once again, bring this issue before the Standing Committee on Finance Pre-Budget Hearings this fall.

The ATUCC's Director Ken Foster says that while the Federal Liberals have taken important steps in providing funding for transit their resistance to a tax exemption for transit riders is problematic. "It's not like the Field of Dreams" said Foster, "Just because you build it, doesn't mean they'll come to use it. Improvements to public transit through the New Deal for Cities and the $800 million NDP Budget Amendment will only be enhanced by a program which encourages people to make use of a new terminal or ride on the latest model of bus."
/For further information: Chris Byford, Director Of Research & Communications/ IN: LABOUR, POLITICS, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Ken Foster, Director, Amalgamated Transit Union, Canadian Council
    Primary Phone: 416-346-1572
    Secondary Phone: 905-670-4710