March 26, 2008 (Toronto, ON) – Ontario’s latest provincial budget features a two year extension of the tax holiday on bikes, introduced last December. Bikes that cost less than $1,000, bike helmets and select bike safety equipment are exempt from the Ontario Provincial Sales Tax (PST) until December 31, 2010.
Pete Lilly, President of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC), praised the move as a sign of good things to come. ‘We’re thrilled that the province has reaffirmed its commitment to building a bike-friendly Ontario. The exemption will save consumers millions of dollars each year, encourage physical activity and ease traffic congestion.’
He went on to say: ‘It’s also a big win for our members – the independent bike shops that supported the tax break so enthusiastically. I’d like to congratulate them for ensuring the smooth implementation of this important public policy initiative.’
The announcement comes just as BTAC is preparing to host a Cycling Pavilion at the Toronto Green Living Show, April 25-27. Located in the Direct Energy Centre, the Pavilion will feature the latest bikes and related products for recreation and urban transportation. Participating manufacturers include Batavus, Norco, Opus, Specialized and Trek.
Visitors to the Cycling Pavilion will learn what to look for in a new bike and where the best cycling destinations are. They’ll also hear about bike commuting, which is a burgeoning trend in Canada.
BTAC hopes the information will help people take advantage of the extended tax exemption.
“Everyone can benefit from cycling,” Lilly added. “The more you ride, the stronger and healthier you get, the less pollution and greenhouses gases you generate, and the more fun you have.”