On January 15, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Ontario Chamber Network provided the Government of Ontario with thirteen tangible recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget to build a stronger Ontario and create a business climate which encourages growth.

The OCC presented the submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, calling on the government to prioritize small business tax reforms, strategic infrastructure investment, and value-based procurement in Budget 2019.

The following are the key areas of recommendation.

Tax Competitively

  • Establish tougher penalties for tax noncompliance.
  • Create a variable small business deduction and delay taxation on corporate income growth to overcome Ontario’s scale-up challenge.
  • Maintain the current mining tax rates for remote, non-remote, and diamond mining operations.
  • Preserve provincial tax exemptions on employer health and dental plans.
  • Modify the Municipal Accommodation Tax to protect tourism industry competitiveness.

Enhance Fiscal Capacity for Municipalities

  • Gradually increase the Heads and Beds Levy on institutions.
  • Fix the interest arbitration system for fire and police services.

Address Ontario’s Infrastructure Deficit

  • Leverage the private sector to expand broadband access.
  • Restore passenger rail in Northern Ontario by partnering with the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Adopt Sustainable Spending Models

  • Use value-based procurement to more effectively spend taxpayer money.
  • Implement user-pay models and means testing for certain government services.
  • Direct business support to where it is needed most.
  • Leverage technology to increase public sector cost efficiency.