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Scrap the electronics tax: Wilson

Eco Taxes Must Go(Queen's Park Report - December 21, 2010) Let me just cut to the chase.  Voters willing, a Tim Hudak led Ontario PC government will scrap Dalton McGuinty's eco-tax grab on electronics that is costing families higher prices on everything from TVs and computers to iPads and iPods.

The eco-tax on electronics is a burden on Ontario families, especially around Christmas.  To charge a new tax of up to $26.25 on new televisions or $21.65 on new computers is a kick in the teeth for families trying to get by.  It's a clear example of how out-of-touch Dalton McGuinty has become.

We fought aggressively this past summer to get the McGuinty government to backtrack on their costly eco-tax on over 9,000 household items like suntan lotion, dish soap, pharmaceuticals, barbecues and concrete mix.  We won that battle and now we're going to take on the eco-tax on electronics.  Let's be clear.  If Dalton McGuinty fails to get rid of the tax, a Tim Hudak PC government will scrap it.

There isn't much reason to defend keeping such a tax grab in place.  Just look at the facts.  The McGuinty government planned to have 9,994 tonnes of electronics diverted from landfills for reuse in the first year of this program, but they only managed to divert 215.7 tonnes or 2% of the target.  Talk about a failed program.

There are practically zero results for the $44,508,436 in eco-taxes that were collected from consumers in the first year of this program.  This tax scheme cost $2,572.30 per tonne - the most expensive in Canada.  The recovery rate for this program is also shameful.  The 1.31 kg they recover per person is the lowest in Canada.  This is clearly just a greedy tax grab that should be sent to pasture.

Dalton McGuinty seems to think that taxpayers have a near infinite capacity to pay for every experiment that he comes up with.  His priorities are so different than the priorities of Ontario families that he views these taxes as just a few more dollars here and a few more dollars there and nothing much to worry about.  To him, it's no big deal.

After seven years of hikes on consumer taxes, income taxes, vehicle taxes, hydro taxes, land taxes, electronics taxes - and even tire and plastic bag taxes - the Ontario family budget has been stretched to the limit.  Tim Hudak and I understand that Ontario families need a chance to catch-up.

Dalton McGuinty's expensive experiments have got to go.  We need to return to the basics and provide families with real tax relief, focus government on the services that matter most and create good, private sector jobs.

Tim Hudak and I know that by fixing household finances, we will fix the finances of our great province.  We can begin by ending the eco-tax on electronics.

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