Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.
Credits: (Reuters files)
Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said Monday that he's still considering whether eliminating the business tax break is the best way to go about ensuring the government has enough money to provide good public services.
The Senators are warning that Ottawa could lose its NHL team if companies, who currently get a 50% writeoff, stop buying tickets and suites.
"I was interested to hear that response and yeah, you take these things into account," Duncan said. "The Sens are an important franchise not just for Ottawa but for Ontario so we take that into account.
"My experience, however, is everything we've announced has somebody that's going to be impacted and so we have to weigh that."
Duncan sent a letter to federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last week in which he asked to work with the Stephen Harper government on a number of initiatives.
"It is not clear that taxpayers should be subsidizing certain business expenses for income and sales tax purposes such as private boxes and corporate seats at sporting events," his letter says.
Duncan said he's interested in fairness in the tax system, and notes Ontario has already brought in a large corporate tax cut, frozen business education taxes for 14 years and transformed the sales tax system through the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
"I don't know if (the HST) would benefit the Ottawa Senators ... but all these matters are under consideration and we'll have responses in the budget," Duncan said.
Ontario would need to work with the Harper government if it were to remove the sports tix break, Duncan said.
The provincial budget will be delivered by the end of March, he said.