The upcoming 2018 Ontario budget should focus on offsetting the growing costs to business through measures such as a reduction of the corporate income tax, according to a pre-budget submission issued by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in partnership with the Timmins Chamber.

Presented to the Ontario government on Jan. 15, the OCC’s submission included 11 specific recommendations as a guideline to help manage costs and secure economic growth at a time where businesses are facing rising energy rates, cap and trade challenges, and labour costs.

These include suggestions to pass various tax reforms, such as following through on previous plans to reduce the corporate income tax rate from 11.5 percent to 10 percent.

The submission also urges the province to create additional small business deduction tax brackets, and to delay taxation on corporate income growth to help give aspiring entrepreneurs more room to grow.

“Employers in Timmins are feeling the pressure from rising costs, which is why Ontario needs to build a competitive taxation system that encourages investment and minimizes red tape,” said Jamie Clarke, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

“While we applaud the Ontario government’s efforts to address these issues in last year’s Fall Economic Statement, it is evident that more support needs to be given to businesses to ensure the future growth of our economy.”

In its submission, the OCC also emphasized the importance of government spending to maximize growth within the province. More strategic spending on infrastructure will maximize Ontario’s competitiveness, while reinvesting money back into the economy, according to the document.

The OCC shared similar concerns about the lack of reinvestment within Ontario, as the pre-budget submission also highlighted the fiscal imbalance between municipalities and the provincial government, which is placing a growing burden on taxpayers. This, it suggested, is ultimately straining local services and forcing municipalities to delay essential projects.

“On the spending side, government must improve the efficiency and effectiveness of programs/services and focus on areas that enhance productivity and competitiveness,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Addressing the fiscal hardship being put onto businesses through rising costs within the province is an underlying theme throughout the pre-budget submission. The Timmins Chamber, alongside the OCC, is devoted to working with the provincial government to ensure the competitiveness of Ontario businesses.

CLICK HERE to download the OCC’s full 2018 Ontario pre-budget submission.

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