Ontario offering seniors tax rebates on transit passes
Province says transit rebate is different from recently cancelled federal program.
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The Ontario government says its new transit tax credit for seniors is more about getting seniors out of their homes than boosting public transit.
The government announced a15 per cent tax credit in their budget unveiled last week, which is similar to one the federal government just eliminated.
When the federal government announced the end of their credit, they said the measure wasn’t boosting public transit ridership as it had been designed to.
The new Ontario credit will only apply to seniors and will be refundable, which means more seniors will qualify for it because they don’t need a minimum amount of taxable income.
Scott Blodgett, a spokesperson for the ministry of finance, said the credit is about helping seniors get out into their communities.
“The proposed Ontario Seniors Public Transit Tax Credit to help seniors remain active in their communities by taking advantage of new and existing transit projects across the province,” he said in an email.
The government is promising more details about the credit before the July 1 implementation date. The government estimates it will cost about $10 million annually and reach 65,000 seniors.
Blodgett said even though senior fares are usually already heavily discounted, the government wants to ensure money is not obstacle.
“Ontario wants to ensure that seniors do not face unnecessary barriers to participating in their communities.”