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March 27/08 8:37 am - Ontario breaks for bikes: Budget extends PST exemption on bikes and accessories to 2010


Posted by Editoress on 03/27/08
 

Ontario breaks for bikes: Budget extends PST exemption on bikes and accessories to 2010
Courtesy BTAC

Ontario's latest provincial budget features a two year extension of the tax holiday on bikes, introduced last December.

Bikes that cost less than $1,000, bike helmets and select bike safety equipment are exempt from the Ontario Provincial Sales Tax (PST) until December 31, 2010.

Pete Lilly, President of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC), praised the move as a sign of good things to come. 'We're thrilled that the province has reaffirmed its commitment to building a bike-friendly Ontario. The exemption will save consumers millions of dollars each year, encourage physical activity and ease traffic congestion.'

He went on to say: 'It's also a big win for our members - the independent bike shops that supported the tax break so enthusiastically. I'd like to congratulate them for ensuring the smooth implementation of this important public policy initiative.'

The announcement comes just as BTAC is preparing to host a Cycling Pavilion at the Toronto Green Living Show, April 25-27. Located in the Direct Energy Centre, the Pavilion will feature the latest bikes and related products for recreation and urban transportation. Participating manufacturers include Batavus, Norco, Opus, Specialized and Trek.

Visitors to the Cycling Pavilion will learn what to look for in a new bike and where the best cycling destinations are. They'll also hear about bike commuting, which is a burgeoning trend in Canada.

BTAC hopes the information will help people take advantage of the extended tax exemption.

'Everyone can benefit from cycling,' Lilly added. 'The more you ride, the stronger and healthier you get, the less pollution and greenhouses gases you generate, and the more fun you have."


Quick Facts:

Many of our car trips are for distances less than three kilometers - well within the range of an easy bike ride. In just 15 minutes, the average person can bike 3.5 km. Here are some other benefits to cycling to your destinations:
• Get there quick! For trips of up to 10 km, cycling is usually the fastest way to travel within the city.
• Save $$$. It costs about $200 per year to maintain a bike, plus an additional $300 for accessories - compared to $7,500 that the average Canadian pays to own a car.
• Improve your health! 30 minutes of brisk cycling several times a week reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease, adult diabetes and obesity by as much as 50%. (The David Suzuki Foundation)

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