Contact Your MPP Today
As you know, the Government of Ontario is in the process
commercial vehicle licence fees by 70%, which already
started with a 30% increase on December 1, 2012. The remaining
40% is scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2013 (unless you help do
something about it). It’s true these fees have not been raised in
24 years, but 70% in such a short period is a whopping increase,
especially during these difficult times.
Have Your Say
The Ontario Trucking Association has been fighting to have the
increase reduced. However, in the meantime OTA argues the fee should at
the very least be phased in over a longer period. OTA's proposals
are receiving consideration from the government,
but it is important that OTA’s efforts are buttressed by
individual carriers who directly contact the appropriate ministers.
OTA is making this easy for you. All you have to do is enter
the information below. You will then be prompted to hit send. When you
do, the message copied at the bottom of this page will automatically be
emailed to Ontario Transportation Minister, Hon. Glen Murray, and the
Ontario Finance Minister, Hon. Charles Sousa.
In March 2012, the Government of Ontario announced it was introducing
"modest and gradual" increases in driver and vehicle licence fees, which
it pointed out, had not increased in several years. However, the reality
is the increases for the trucking industry are NOT modest - heavy
commercial vehicle validation fees are going up 70%! Nor are they
gradual - the entire 70% increase is being introduced over a 12-month
period. The first 30% kicked in on December 1, 2012. A second increase
(40%) is scheduled for December 1, 2013.
Only politicians could call a 70% increase over 12 months "modest and
gradual." An increase of this magnitude would be hard to manage in
robust economic times, let alone during the current period of sluggish
growth and continued uncertainty. The trucking industry simply doesn't
generate margins that allow it to easily absorb such increases and we
can't simply pass these costs along to our customers, many of whom have
their own competitive struggles.
The government says the fee increases are necessary "to ensure
provincial roads and bridges remain safe and in good repair for future
generations." We have heard that before. But the fees revenue is not
dedicated to infrastructure maintenance; like everything else, it all
goes to general revenues. In fact, your government's own estimates for
operations and maintenance under the provincial highways management
program are forecast to decline in 2012-13 compared to both 2011-12 and
Finally, the increases were justified as part of the government's
commitment to eliminating the provincial deficit in keeping with the
Drummond Commission - even though what Drummond actually called for was
"a civilized dialogue on alternative methods to finance infrastructure."
I support eliminating the deficit and paying my and my company's fair
share of taxes and fees. I understand that the commercial vehicle plate
fees were perhaps due for an adjustment. But not by 70% and not in one
fell swoop. No trucking company could run its business that way.
Also, there are many types of trucks on our roads and highways (e.g.,
mobile cranes, vacuum trucks, concrete pumping trucks, street sweepers
and water trucks) that are exempt from paying vehicle registration fees
(and fuel taxes too), creating a revenue leakage running into the tens
of millions of dollars. This is not fair. Why should some companies be
hit with a 70% increase in licence fees while others pay zero?
The government has also made much of the fact it is "ahead of its
targets for lowering the deficit" so the province has room to maneuver.
I am urging you to introduce measures in the 2013 Ontario budget to
avoid my company being hit by another 40% increase in licence fees this
December by creating a more protracted schedule for the fee increases
and by requiring all heavy commercial vehicle owners to start paying
their fair share.
I understand the Ontario Trucking Association has made reasonable
proposals in this regard and I urge you to give them the utmost
consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.