Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

March 11, 2009 13:10 ET

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Reacts to BILD Report on Harmonization

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2009) - Today's release by BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), the Greater GTA affiliate of the Ontario Home Builders' Association, is not inconsistent with arguments made recently by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on the topic of sales tax harmonization.

As stated in BILD's release it is "not fighting harmonization, but fighting for fair treatment of housing under a harmonized sales tax regime."

"The question is not whether sales tax harmonization is the best way forward, but what the best model of harmonization is for Ontario," explains Len Crispino, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "There's ample evidence that harmonization will bring tremendous benefits to Ontario. A value-added tax (like the GST) is the best way to tax consumption as it will increase productivity and wealth generation."

The OCC report, Made in Ontario: A Case for Sales Tax Harmonization, shows that the government has numerous options to determine the best way to create a value-added tax in Ontario, taking into account the impact on all sectors of the economy.

Concerns about a single sector should not cause us to reject harmonization, but should prompt more detailed discussion about the best model for Ontario. If the government so chooses, it has tools at its disposal to mitigate the effects on certain sectors of the economy while still ensuring that Ontario enjoys the profound benefits harmonization can bring. We encourage the provincial and federal governments to choose the model of sales tax harmonization that will optimize those benefits and help us prepare for a stronger recovery from our current economic difficulties.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce would be happy to work with BILD and other like-minded organizations to determine how harmonization can best be applied in Ontario. More information on the OCC report can be found at www.taxharmonization.ca.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. In its mandate to advocate strong policies on issues affecting its members, the OCC is currently focused on economic renewal and business competitiveness. Its over-arching goal is to make Ontario the most competitive jurisdiction in North America.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    Amy Terrill
    W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241 or C: (416) 605-8205
    amyterrill@occ.on.ca