Friday, April 07, 2006

Quebec to Propose Parking Tax on Indoor and Outdoor Parking Spaces

The Province of Quebec is considering the creation of a new tax on non-residential off-street free and paid parking in an attempt to generate new revenues, says consulting firm Deloitte.

The proposed tax, which is expected to be set between $1.25 and $2.25 per sq. ft. if approved, would require owners to pay tax on all indoor and outdoor parking spaces. This would include spaces allotted for employees and customers, and parking for public institutions such as hospitals and universities.

The implications of such a tax for many Montreal businesses could be enormous, particularly for big-box retailers that commonly have 200,000 sq. ft. of free customer parking. “And 200,000 sq. ft. of parking times those numbers is very significant,” says Daniel Lebel, a senior property tax manager with Deloitte in Montreal.

Space for parking lots is already included in the calculation for property assessments. If the amendment is passed, it could implement double taxation, as “The parking lot is taxed by the city. They just see this new levy as additional revenue,” says Lebel.

Opponents argue that a tax of this nature would result in heavier tax burdens for businesses operating in Quebec. “The reality is that this would apparently apply to everything, including a shopping centre or a store in the suburbs,” adds Lebel.


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