Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

March 25, 2008 16:05 ET

Province Provides Much Needed Maintenance With Spring Budget

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - Ontario's business community commends the government for a budget that strikes a good balance considering the pressures facing the economy today.

"Today's budget begins to lay a stronger foundation for a more productive economy with certain targeted measures to improve our infrastructure, strengthen our labour force, and reduce the cost of doing business," says Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "These maintenance strategies will help to put Ontario on more solid footing, and we hope will help pave the way for a more aggressive strategy down the road to assist the sectors hardest hit by the economic slowdown south of the border."

The OCC is eagerly awaiting two reports, the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review and the Ramsay manufacturing report, to provide crucial steps towards strengthening our communities and reforming our tax structure.

In keeping with recommendations made by the OCC, today's budget puts in place several key initiatives to assist the manufacturing and resource sectors:

- eliminates the capital tax for manufacturing and resource sectors, retroactive to January 1, 2007;

- provides a 3 year extension (from 2009 to 2012) of the accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) rate for manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment investments made before 2012;

- through the OCC, establishes a new Global Expansion Program to assist Ontario's Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to diversify their export markets.

In addition, roughly 30,000 businesses in 85 municipalities in Northern Ontario are expected to share in savings of more than $70 million as the Business Education Tax (BET) rate is reduced more rapidly. The reduction in the BET was announced in the 2007 Provincial Budget after the OCC provided a detailed analysis of the benefits of a lower BET rate.

"Today's budget recognizes the importance of diversifying our global investment and trade, no longer a luxury but now a necessity. And of course we're pleased to accept responsibility for the new Global Expansion Program which will allow us to directly assist hundreds of Ontario companies access or expand into new markets," adds Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "This, coupled with new investments in skills development, will help Ontario's economy increase its competitiveness on a global scale."

The OCC is also pleased to see that the provincial government has recently acknowledged the importance of provincial content levels for publicly funded mass transit projects, as a further way to support Ontario's manufacturing sector. The OCC looks forward to more details on this announcement.

The full OCC pre-budget submission to the Provincial Finance Minister can be found on our website at www.occ.on.ca.

The OCC represents over 60,000 businesses through 160 local Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, and has been Ontario's business advocate since 1911. Its advocacy and policy initiatives focus on six areas key to the economic well-being of the province: health; education; energy; finance & taxation; transportation & infrastructure; and border issues.

Contact Information

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