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Ontario Authorities Announce Tax Cuts, Spending Program

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

16 December 2007

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has this week welcomed an Ontario economic statement which contains good news for small businesses, and lists areas where more remains to be done.

CIFB officials have welcomed the retroactive increase in the small business tax deduction by the government, from $400,000 to $500,000, and the $150 million in new funding to help farmers deal with current market conditions.

However, they have expressed disappointment that their hopes for accelerated cuts to the Business Education Tax (BET) and red tape reduction will not be implemented in line with the other measures, and will now push for them to be included in next year's Spring budget.

“Increasing the small business tax threshold will benefit our members, and we are pleased to see farmers getting some support from this government,” Judith Andrew, CFIB’s Ontario vice president, said.

“Eliminating the profit-insensitive Capital Tax will help mid-sized manufacturers weather economic challenges. Since the economic statement doesn’t usually contain tax measures, this is a welcome sign that the government recognizes businesses that are struggling with the high dollar, energy costs and other issues, and has decided not to wait until Spring to take action,” she added.

The statement includes a proposed $900 million in municipal infrastructure funding, which will be viewed positively by small businesses that place a high priority on transportation infrastructure. “It’s encouraging to see some movement on this file, within the context of the Finance Minister’s commitment to a balanced budget and no new taxes.”

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan welcomed the Ontario government's decision to implement these tax cuts, stating that the reductions forecast a positive outlook for the future of Canada's economy.

“The Ontario economy has proven resilient in an increasingly challenging global economic environment. However, certain key sectors, such as manufacturing, forestry, agriculture and tourism, face serious challenges,” said Mr. Duncan. “We are helping these sectors adjust to a changed economic environment.”

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