Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Flaherty takes Duncan into the boards

A timely body check by Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who delivered a pretty solid body check to his Ontario counterpart today, in the process gaining the admiration of the users of luxury boxes out in Kanata.

Dwight Duncan, Ontario's Finance Minister had apparently appealed to the Feds to make a change in taxation policy that would remove a tax break to corporations to write off  half of the cost o tickets to sporting events.

The plan was to recoup some 15 million dollars for the Ontario treasury, current facing a 16 billion dollar deficit, however, more than a few observers, not the least of which were the folks that own and operate the Senators suggested that if that change were to be made the very future of the NHL in Ottawa was in peril.

Hyperbole perhaps, but still, it seemed like kind of a stupid move politically for a provincial government, especially considering they hold a number of seats in the Ontario Legislature from Ottawa and the Premier, Dalton McGuinty is from the nation's capital.

While there would be some gain for the province by ending that break, critics of the Ontario Liberals financial acumen, suggest that they have missed many other opportunities to reign in their budgetary woes.

Beyond that, putting a team like Ottawa at risk over a minor gain, in the long run may do more harm to the tax collectors at Queen's Park, if the worst was to happen and the Senators driven out of the province owing to the burden of operations, Ontario would lose much more in dollars on the variety of collections they make from a pro sports franchise.

Anyways, all ends well in the land of the luxury suite was Mr. Flatherty refused that suggestion and for now pending some other strange happenstance, the tax break and the Senators are safe.

Though desperate as they are for cash, don't count out a last minute flurry by the Ontario Liberals around those Senators luxury boxes.

Ottawa Citizen-- Sports ticket tax write-off to continue
Ottawa Sun-- Sports tax grab insults Ottawa
Ottawa Sun-- Duncan and McGuinty fight back at Flaherty
National Post-- Flaherty saves the Ottawa Senators, and maybe Dalton McGuinty too
Globe and Mail-- Ontario Liberals dismiss Senators' doom
Hamilton Spectator-- Flaherty putting sport-ticket tax breaks for business before health care: Duncan

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