Ontario small businesses fear higher taxes on jobs
Toronto With Ontario’s small businesses facing the possibility of higher taxes on payroll, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is reminding the province’s elected leaders about their campaign promises to reduce the tax burden on job creators.
“Increasing payroll taxes on hard-pressed small business owners is essentially a tax on jobs,” said CFIB’s Ontario Vice President, Satinder Chera. “Entrepreneurs are forced to pay more, even if they haven’t turned a penny of profit. That isn’t fair.”
The threat of higher payroll taxes comes from a recently released report on the finances of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Already struggling with $14.5 billion in unfunded liabilities, the WSIB and the Ministry of Labour responded to the report by hiking not cutting those liabilities. The province’s workers’ compensation system is funded entirely through premiums on employers.
“Given the WSIB’s recent track record of downloading the cost of unilateral increases in benefits onto employers, small businesses have every right to be worried,” said CFIB’s Ontario Director, Plamen Petkov. “If the WSIB is allowed to hike premiums on employers again, it will hurt job creation and eat away at the tax relief already provided by the province to grow the economy.”
In light of the “minority” parliament, the CFIB has written to the major party leaders, asking them for their written commitment to stop the WSIB from hiking premiums on workplace payroll. The open letter to Dalton McGuinty, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath calls for steps to ensure that the tax relief already delivered to small businesses is not clawed back in the form of higher WSIB premiums. “Just as all of them agree that Ontario must take responsibility for its finances without taxing small business or making the deficit any worse, so too should the WSIB,” concluded Chera.