The Ontario Green Party says it would provide fiscal relief for small businesses and nonprofits by reducing the Employer Health Taxes they pay.
The plan would be paid for by increasing corporate taxes paid by big business by 1 percent.
Provincial leader and Guelph MPP candidate Mike Schreiner made the Green Party platform announcement Friday morning at The Bookshelf in Downtown Guelph.
Over 90 percent of actual businesses in Ontario are small businesses,” Schreiner said. “So it is clear that small businesses are critical to Guelph’s economy as well as Ontario’s economy.”
Schreiner said the move would help small businesses and nonprofits save about $1 billion a year and help them pay for the raising of the minimum wage to $15 by next year, which they also support.
The tax cut would come via an increase to the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from $450,000 to $1 million in payroll for businesses and organizations with payrolls under $5 million.
He said the move would provide “additional cash-flow relief” and help them pay a higher minimum wage and create additional jobs.
Schreiner said there are 8,000 small businesses in Guelph representing 70 per cent of all businesses, plus over 700 non-profits.
“They all create jobs. They are all significant contributors to our economy,” Schreiner said.
The 1 percent increase would be on businesses that employ over 400 people.
Schreiner called it “a win for big business as well” because it helps fuel the local economies and local workforce that they rely on.
“I think that we have a lot of room to have competitive tax rates for big businesses,” he said.
“Even by raising Ontario’s corporate tax rate on the largest, most profitable corporations by one per cent to free up money to support our local economies will ultimately support those larger businesses as well.”
Schreiner criticized PC leader Doug Ford’s plan of reducing corporate taxes for big business.
“We have two parties of big business and one party of no business, Doug Ford’s plan is a complete example of that.
“Lowering corporate taxes on big business does not provide immediate payroll relief. Lowering payroll taxes provides immediate payroll relief.”