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December 20, 2021

McGuinty nixes tax credit for drivers who buy winter tires

Despite repeated requests from insurers, health groups and road safety agencies seeking tax breaks for consumers, the government of Ontario has decided to leave winter tire selection to motorists.

Tire The Winter Driving Safety Coalition — which includes the Ontario Safety League, Canadian Automobile Association, Ontario Trucking Association, Rubber Association of Canada and Canadian Tire — had been calling for $25 bonuses for each snow-and-ice tire purchased.

Encouraging more drivers to use snow tires this way would reduce the number of accidents and serious injuries, saving the province millions in health-care costs, the Coalition maintains. 

While the group doesn’t want Quebec-like legislature requiring snow tires, it feels that consumers need a financial nudge to get on board. Right now, less than 50 per cent of Ontario cars are equipped with snow tires, the Coalition claims.

"It's about reduced congestion, a better economy and reduced costs to the health-care system, so really it's a win-win-win across the board and should be looked at," CAA spokesperson Faye Lyons told the Canadian Press.

Clearly some drivers who would have bought snow tires this winter have had to do without. They’re paying more tax on almost everything they buy, but it's the essential purchases which really hurt – prompting more than a few drivers to get another out of their all-season set.

There is some good news, however. MPP Bill Mauro's motion to encourage insurance companies to offer discounts to drivers who use snow tires has met with Queen's Park approval.

The CAA say it will ask regulators for permission to issue insurance rebates similar to those offered of private firms.

Are they on to something? Would you buy snow tires anyway? Will tax breaks for brushing and flossing be next on the list?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...