Tax Fairness: Trucks Deemed Road Building Machines Will Begin Paying Tax and Plate Fees in 2017

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A truck is a truck, says the Ontario Trucking Association; and the Province of Ontario agrees.

Last week, OTA was notified by MTO that the ministry plans to move forward with necessary regulatory amendments for vehicles formerly classed as road-building machines. The change is expected to take effect July 1, 2017.

As a result of OTA lobbying efforts, trucks classified as road building machines (hydrovac trucks, water tank trucks, concrete pumpers, mobile cranes and other utility and heavy application trucks) must fall into compliance with all of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) requirements followed by the rest of the trucking industry, including requirements to pay for licence plates.

“This issue was a sore point for many of our members,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “They rightfully asked why certain trucks that use the province’s roads and highways were exempt from paying fees and taxes? There was no good answer. To Minister Del Duca’s credit he has corrected an unfair situation.”

When implemented, the MTO regulations will address the following:

  • Certain vehicles, namely mobile cranes built for highway use and vehicles constructed on a truck chassis or truck-type chassis will be considered commercial vehicles (and not road-building machines);
  • The newly re-classified vehicles be required to obtain licence plates at full cost based on their registered weight and be operated by drivers holding the appropriate licence class and endorsements;
  • That these vehicles be subject to the same roadside, daily and annual safety inspection requirements specified in the HTA for other heavy trucks;
  • After 5 years, the operators of most vehicles will be required to come full into compliance with the Truck Driver Hours of Service Regulations;
  • The re-classified vehicles will be immediately required to comply with gross and axle vehicle weight rating specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer followed by further sunset dates by which full HTA weights and dimensions compliance is required for all vehicles.
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