Green Party of Ontario Leader Mike Schreiner is urging the Liberal government to offer real help to small businesses in Tuesday’s fall economic statement by lowering payroll taxes on employees.
“The most efficient and effective way to help small businesses to create more jobs is to raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax, which has increased only slightly since the late 1990s,” said Schreiner.
“I call on the Ontario government to announce that it will raise the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1,000,000 in payroll. This will allow locally-owned companies to double the number of jobs they create before paying taxes on those jobs, helping them grow their business.”
Businesses with payroll of less than $5 million would not be charged the EHT on the first $1,000,000 of payroll, helping them save up to $20,000 a year and injecting over $800 million into local economies.
The governing Liberals do little to help small businesses, preferring instead to hand out billions of dollars to huge corporations and to cut taxes for Bay Street instead of Main Street.
“The Liberals focus on big corporations and mostly ignore the real job creators — small businesses whose individual job numbers add up to millions of good jobs,” said Schreiner.
“As a former small business owner, I know this tax change will make a real difference for both mom-and-pop shops, as well as for start ups looking to grow their business.”
The Greens’ tax cut plan would also help small businesses adjust to a rapidly rising minimum wage.
“The GPO is the only party with a balanced plan to support small businesses and living wages for workers,” said Schreiner, who is also the Green Party candidate in Guelph in next June’s election.
Schreiner said the small business entrepreneurs who are essential to building diversified, resilient local economies that generate sustainable jobs and prosperity are not being properly supported by the Ontario government.
“There are two parties of big business and one party of no business at Queen’s Park,” he said. “Greens are the only party standing up for small business.”
The GPO is on a mission to bring honesty, integrity and policies that work for people to Queen’s Park.