Ontario Government Heeds CARP's Calls to Follow B.C's Example in HST Home Energy Relief

Last year when the Ontario Government announced its plans to harmonize their sales tax with the federal sales tax, CARP began its HST relief advocacy on behalf of seniors. When it was announced that British Columbia would follow suit we redoubled our efforts. Armed with research, member polling and your backing we set out to secure a concession from governments intent on imposing an even higher tax burden on its citizens already on fixed income. Read about it here: Read more

We polled CARP Action Online readers about the measures that would help the most and there emerged a consensus that a home heating tax credit would be the most significant measure the Government could take to remedy the damage the new taxes impose. During pre-budget consultations and presentations, we consistently called on Government to introduce this measure. British-Columbia announced that it would introduce Home Energy Tax Relief so we turned our focus to Ontario. To read a Hansard transcript of our Ontario pre-budget presentation, please Read more CARP members were clear and sincere when they told the politicians that if they did not mitigate the devastating impact the HST would have on their finances let alone their ability to heat their homes it would cost them the vote of the most politically engaged demographic.

It seems that in Ontario, our warnings did not fall on deaf ears. The Ontario Legislature has just passed the Bill that will give Ontario seniors a tax break worth an estimated $70 million according to finance officials. The Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit will benefit Ontario Seniors by increasing the threshold amount they can earn to remain eligible for the credit. This improvement to the calculation in the tax credit will mean that some seniors will receive a higher credit than before and many others will now benefit. Over 740,000 seniors will benefit from this enhancement. To read the official announcement, please please click here.

Take a bow CARP members! There is still room for improvement but these are good results from your support, informed participation and our collective persistence!

Keywords: tax credits