Monday, September 15, 2014

Hospital parking taxes to be axed

OTTAWA—The federal government plans to stop charging GST or HST on hospital parking fees—a partial reversal of a tax measure imposed in last year’s budget.
The 2013 budget ended a special tax break on parking fees at public institutions where the parking lot was run by a non-profit partner.

Hospitals had complained that they would have to absorb the tax, resulting in reduced parking revenues that they use to supplement their annual health care budgets.
At budget time, the government said the change was intended to ensure consistent tax treatment.
“These are companies that are supplying parking to hospitals and they were getting a special tax reduction,” then-junior finance minister Ted Menzies told the Commons last March.
“We do not think that is necessary.”
But the Finance Department now is proposing to soften part of that measure, and exempt hospital parking fees from the GST or HST.
The Opposition New Democrats call the move hypocritical and accuse the Harper Conservatives of making tax policy “by the seat of their pants.”
Other institutions affected by last year’s tax loophole change, however, remain on the hook for parking taxes.

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