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TAX Exempt Transit Passes



Amalgamated Transit Union National Task Force Pushes for Tax Exempt Transit
Passes 

An Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) National Task has been created to monitor
and encourage the efforts of organizations advocating a change in the way
public transit passes are taxed.  The Task Force includes representatives
from ATU Canadian Council, Canadian Labour Congress, Canadian Urban Transit
Association, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Ontario Lung
Association, and Pollution Probe (Toronto).  Members of the Task Force are
committed to identifying and contacting local representatives that will work
together by lobbying the government at the regional, provincial, and/or
federal level.

An employer provided tax- exempt transit pass is a proven incentive to use
public transit.  Currently employer provided tax-exempt transit passes are
NOT AVAIABLE IN CANADA.  

An employer provided tax-exempt transit pass has been proposed by a variety
of groups, organizations and government committees.  The Alternative Federal
Budget has also suggested it.  But Implementation has been denied by the
Finance Minister Paul Martin.  He claims that an important principle in
taxation is fairness ...an employer provided transit pass is a benefit not
available to the vast majority of Canadian employees.  But the ATU National
Task Force points out that employer provided parking spaces are not
available to all Canadians.  Being able to provide a transit pass provides
more equitable benefits to employees.  Moreover, government subsidies for
public transportation have been slashed.  Hidden subsidies for autos such as
highway construction and road maintenance continue.    

Exemption of employer provided transit passes from taxation is expected to
result in a modal shift to transit of 5%.  This would reduce the emissions
or slow the growth of emissions by 2%. Canada's agreement to the Kyoto
Protocol is to reduce its greenhouse emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.

Call Amelia Shaw or Donna-Lynn Ahee Project Managers National Task Force to
Promote Employer Provided, Tax-Exempt Transit Passes (613-738-3177).
Windsor contacts: call Peter Wright Financial Sec. 253-7918 and Paul Lauzon
Pres. ATU Local 616 (738-6529)  Citizens Environment Alliance of SW Ontario
(973-1116) and Windsor & District Labour Council Environment Committee
(252-8281).
*********************************************
Windsor & Area Social Justice & Ecological Network
PO Box 548, Windsor, ON  N9A 6M6
Voice:  519-973-1116
Fax 519-255-7361
E-mail:  riccawu@mnsi  (GreenPlanet)

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