The complicating simplification

Bill Curry looks at the practice and impact of targeted tax credits.

The Public Transit Tax Credit was one of the most high-profile tax expenditures announced by the Conservatives in 2006. It was originally projected to cost more than $200-million a year, but has so far been coming in under budget at around $130-million a year. Four years in, experts are unable to say whether the program is encouraging new transit users or simply rewarding those who were taking transit anyway.

Michael Roschlau, president of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, said it’s a great idea to reward people for taking public transit, but the statistics do not show that the credit produced a spike in ridership. “We have not been able to attribute a direct correlation between the ridership trends and the tax credit,” he said.

Jeff Jedras laments.

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