Ontario’s Finance Minister Charles Sousa recognized the Ontario Trucking Association for its efforts to bring attention to inequalities between various types of commercial vehicles in regards to certain taxes and fees they are charged.
The provincial budget that passed in June closed a long-standing loophole which exempted certain heavy trucks from having to be plated and subjected to commercial vehicle registration fees and provincial fuel taxes.
For years, certain heavy trucks involved in commercial operations – such as mobile cranes, vacuum trucks and concrete pumper trucks, among others – were designated as so-called “road-building machines” under the Highway Traffic Act, sparing their owners from being charged the types of fees and taxes all other commercial truck operators are required to pay. Furthermore, the revenue leakage to the province for exempting these trucks was estimated to be around $50 million a year.
OTA brought the issue to light last year and in the recent budget the provincial government called for Highway Traffic Act amendments by 2016 to restore fairness between all heavy vehicles using the highway for commercial operations.
In a letter thanking OTA for its input on the issue, Sousa confirmed the amendments will impose registration and licensing requirement on “road-building” equipment that use public roads and highways. As such, these newly-licensed trucks will no longer be able to use tax-exempt diesel fuel.