MPP Dufferin-Caledon

Weekly Column – Government Hiking Fees by 8% is Costing Ontarians and Businesses More

The Wynne Liberal Government has raised 90 service fees which will cost Ontarians about eight percent more than last year.

According to the independent non-partisan Financial Accountability Officer, this is primarily due to a 12 per cent increase in vehicle and driver registration fee revenue. Currently the province chargers over 400 service, license and permit fees. The government’s increases to fees means it will collect about $200 million more in revenue than last year.

The Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) is the independent budget watchdog of the government and provides reports and analysis of the government’s policies.

Of the 97 changes 5 are new fees, 90 fees have increased, 2 have been eliminated and none have decreased. Of particular note there has been a 12.9 per cent increase in the fees for Drivers Licenses, Oversize/Overweight licenses, the commercial vehicle operator record (CVOR) and driver instructor license replacements, as well as an 8% increase in the cost of a license plates renewal. In fact nearly 64% of the money the government collected from fees has come from Vehicle and Driver Registration Fees.

The ever increasing cost of driver’s licenses and other registration fees is an added burden for Ontario families and drivers. In Dufferin-Caledon and in rural Ontario, people do not have the option of riding the the bus. There is no subway system to take individuals in Amaranth, Grand Valley, Mono, or Bolton to work. They must drive to make a living.

Another interesting example are the fees that are significantly more expensive that the cost of providing the service they are supposedly paying for. There is a legal requirement for the service fee rate to have a reasonable connection to the cost of the service provided. As an example, the FAO points to the personal property security fee is 16 times larger than the cost of providing the service and the Ontario incorporation/business fees are 3 times the cost of providing the program.

In the end this is just another example of the Liberal government’s track record of making life more and more unaffordable for families and businesses. Whether it is skyrocketing hydro rates, the housing affordability crisis or increasing fees, the Liberals have consistently proven that their policies are making of life more expensive for families and businesses

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