OC Transpo riders who’ve come to enjoy a small perk at tax time are in for some disappointment.
The federal Liberal government is scrapping the non-refundable public transit tax credit, first introduced by the Conservatives in 2006.
The credit allowed riders to claim up to 15 per cent of what they spent on transit passes. For an adult OC Transpo pass holder, the credit translated into a $200 saving come tax time.
The tax credit will be eliminated July 1, saving the federal government an estimated $200 million.
‘I’m going to have to scrimp and save’
Transit riders in downtown Ottawa hearing the news for the first time Thursday morning were not impressed.
“Wow. I didn’t realize that. That’s not great,” said Jenn Viau.
Viau said the tax credit made it more economical for her to buy a monthly pass, even if her ridership habits didn’t always justify it.
“It’ll change the way I buy my bus passes,” said Viau. “I’ll end up just putting money on [a Presto card] every month, instead of putting a bus pass on it.”
Joan Garrad said the elimination of the credit will be a financial burden.
“It’s unbelievable! They actually are taking something away from the poor,” said Garrard. “I still have to use [public transit], but it means I’m going to have to scrimp and save.”