The Ford government unveiled their first budget on April 11th which aims for balance after the first term. Below are some of the key takeaways from the budget which you should know.
What you should know.
The Ford government has been marketing Ontario as a province which is “Open for Business and Open for Jobs,” did their budget support their campaign promises?
The plan to decrease provincial corporate tax-rates by 1% was scrapped. The Ford government has instead opted for the Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive (OJCII) which is projected to provide “$3.8 billion in provincial corporate income tax relief over six years” through allowing companies to write off capital expenses right away.
The OJCII closely resembles the federal government’s 2017 Fall Economic Statement
The Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit was introduced to assist households earning less than $150,000 per year. CARE is expected to benefit an estimated 300,000 families. Low-income families will benefit the most from CARE.
The tax credit is determined based on a sliding scale. Families earning less than $20,000 per year may be eligible to receive up to $6,000 per child under the age of seven, and $3,750 per child between seven and sixteen years old.
CANNABIS & ALCOHOL
The budget introduced a $40-million investment over two years to help implement the costs of recreational cannabis. The provincial government administered a mere 25 retail cannabis licences in January 2019. The first legal dispensaries opened their doors on April 1st throughout the province. The Ford government proposed to lift the cap on the number of retail cannabis operating in Ontario and also called upon the federal government to address the national supply shortage of marijuana.
This summer you will be able to enjoy tailgating at professional, semi-professional, and university level events, as the provincial ban on tailgating at sporting events was lifted. Restaurants and bars are also now permitted to advertise “happy hour” and may start serving alcoholic beverages at 9 a.m.
In January, the Ford government announced $600 million in cuts to student grants and $440 million in funding cuts to universities and colleges. This announcement sparked province wide protests amongst Ontario post-secondary students and prompt a province-wide student walk out.
Although expected, the 2019 budget slashed tuition rates by 10% for students at every publicly funded college and university starting in the 2019–20 school year. Students will also now be allowed to choose the non-essential fees they want to pay.