The Budget Measures Act, 2008 (no.2)
On October 22, 2008, Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan introduced The Budget Measures and Interim Appropriation Act, 2008 (No.2) in the Ontario legislature.
Key provisions of the bill, which is subject to the approval of the legislature, include:
Ontario Innovation Tax Credit
This amendment would:
- Extend the Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC) to more small and medium-sized businesses and expand the credit to a greater amount of scientific research and experimental development expenditures.
The OITC is a 10 per cent refundable tax credit available to small and medium-sized corporations that carry on scientific research and experimental development in Ontario.
Income Tax Act
An amendment to the Income Tax Act would:
- Increase the 2008 Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits income threshold for senior couples to $24,300 from $23,820.
This change would ensure that senior couples who receive the minimum level of income guaranteed by the government from Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System continue to fully benefit from the Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits.
Proposed amendments to the Assessment Act would:
- Implement the government's 2008 Budget commitment to clarify and maintain eligibility for the property tax exemption that has historically been provided to long-term care homes established under the Charitable Institutions Act.
- Create a new property tax exemption for temporary residential dwellings (commonly referred to as granny flats) that are built to accommodate a senior family member and authorized by municipalities under the Planning Act on the same parcel of land as an existing house.
- Refine the property tax exemption for minerals to maintain current assessment practices and treat all mineral substances equally.
Fuel Tax Act
Amending the Fuel Tax Act would clarify the use of coloured fuel and streamline compliance. Proposed amendments to the Act include:
- A clarification that the use of coloured fuel is prohibited for motor vehicles or vessels used principally for pleasure
- An amendment to authorize the use of coloured fuels for railways to conform to the practice used in neighbouring jurisdictions
- Provide authority for including fuel acquisition permits on the ministry's Internet listings.
Tobacco Tax Act
The Bill includes proposed amendments that would strengthen tobacco tax enforcement provisions, including:
- Implementing the 2008 Budget announcement to regulate purchase and use of cigarette-making machinery
- Adding more provisions that would allow the seizure of contraband tobacco products
- Adding minimum penalties.
An amendment to the Securities Act would:
- Facilitate inter-provincial enforcement of securities laws by expressly permitting the Ontario Securities Commission to impose sanctions where it determines this is in the public interest, based on a conviction, sanction or settlement for a securities law violation in another jurisdiction.
A similar amendment to the Commodity Futures Act is also included.
Ontario Capital Growth Corporation Act, 2008
The Bill would enact a new Act that would establish the Ontario Capital Growth Corporation as a non-share capital corporation.
The Corporation would:
- Receive, hold, administer and otherwise deal with the interest of the Government of Ontario in the limited partnership known as the Ontario Venture Capital Fund LP
- Receive, hold and deal with property in connection with the objects described above
- Carry out the other objects that are prescribed by the regulations made under the Act.
The new $205-million Ontario Venture Capital Fund was announced by the Ministry of Research and Innovation on June 11, 2008. The Fund will strengthen the ability of the province's venture capital sector to support innovative, high-growth companies in Ontario by making it easier for them to find the investment, expertise and support they need.
The fund is a limited partnership between the Ontario government and leading institutional investors to invest primarily in Ontario-focused venture capital and growth funds. It has been established to improve the access to investment funding in Ontario for innovative, high-potential companies.