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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Meanwhile, at the Presto offices ...



Whoever had to put together those god-awful transit usage reports is either wondering if s/he still has a job or ... see image above.

Yesterday the federal government announced in its 2017 budget that after July 1, Canadians will no longer be able to claim the 15% tax credit for transit expenses.

Nice, huh?

7 comments:

Sylv said...

I really, really hope that this year's usage report will have a way to separate the "can claim" from the "can't claim" trips, like a subtotal at the end of June. I also really, really hope to find a money tree on my lawn tomorrow...

Rob said...

Not having to deal with those awful transit usage reports is going to be a small consolation for losing that 15% tax credit which really did help soften the blow of heavy travel costs from travelling from the end of the line to Union Station every day. I remember for the first few years after the tax credit was introduced there was some debate about whether Go, TTC, and others should raise their fares into the financial space freed up by the tax credit and forego some subsidy money. To some extent, I think Go did so with those 7+ percent fare increases every year for a while there. Now that the tax credit's gone, what does this mean for Metrolinx fare policy going forward?

And thanks federal government. All the working, commuting low to middle income earners you guys claim to champion really appreciate being kicked in the wallet like that.

Squiggles said...

@ Rob

GO will still raise their fares whenever and by how much they feel like. They will make it economically unfeasible to commute daily.

It is incentive to work from home. Really. Right now, I average $18 a day going into the office. It does not cost me $18/day in hydro and water. And a side bonus is that I spend less on buying food too.

Anonymous said...

18 a day? That's it???!?! Have you ever taken your car to work? Let me know the cost of parking, gas, and yearly car maintenance. Compare it to your fare for go, plus add in that you sit there and do nothing instead of driving.

Please, remind me what you are complaining about again?

Why do adults cry so much? Spoiled brats!

Nora1968 said...

@Anonymous: Squiggles is actually lucky. My daily cost to travel to work - in after-tax dollars, thank you very much - is much closer to $30/day (including gas to the GO station, GO fare from/to Oshawa and then - lucky me - TTC to/from Yonge & Bloor).

Driving in from Courtice would incur about $12/day in parking, plus gas (which would be $12ish/day also, given my current mileage). Maintenance on the car I do anyway, regardless, so it's not as easy to quantify the "cost" there that comes as a direct result of commuting or not by car.

The point is, even if the costs were exactly the same, there are a variety of reasons why people might choose to use public transit, and those could include concern for the environmental footprint of driving. Whatever the reason, the cost of public transit alone (for me, $25.30 alone every day) is outrageous and for the government to withdraw a tax credit that served to help - HELP - offset those costs for committed transit users who are DOING WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS IT WANTS and are for the most part middle class is even more so.

Spoiled? I wish.

Squiggles said...

Nora: don't feed the troll.

The GO fare is my third highest monthly expense after property tax and mortgage. I take it mostly because it is slightly more convenient than driving.

But, if I wasn't right by Union Station, I would consider alternatives. Because at a certain point, it will be cheaper to drive.

Rob said...

My work is two blocks from Union Station so it's a short walk to and from the train. A bit longer of a walk if I'm working an off hours shift and have to go to and from the bus terminal instead of the train shed. The Toronto end of the commute isn't a problem. It's the home end of the commute that's really suffered from two schedule changes that have caused me to drive down the line a couple of stations and pick up the train there because the timing works out much better that way now, so I'm committed to keeping the car on the road. Having found cheap parking near work last fall, I've noticed I've been driving a lot more outside of the day shift since the cost difference isn't that great and the sharp increase in convenience and reduction in travel time makes it worth it. The cost difference is further diminished by losing the tax credit.

Granted taking away the tax credit lays with the federal government, but at the end of the day, with how the Ontario government's been hell bent on punishing people for simply trying to exist by jacking up Go fares, jacking up electricity rates, jacking up fuel prices and everything that has fuel costs factored into end retail prices, the whole nine yards, anything helps and that tax credit did help. That's why it'll be missed and why people are not happy about it being taken away.