Should city staff’s free parking perk end?

Posted June 21, 2012

It was reported in the KW Record this week that the Region of Waterloo is cancelling free parking for its 1,050 employees..

This is a gnarly issue that has plagued Guelph for more than a year. City staffers, some 1,300 of them receive free parking as a perk, one of 24 freebies enjoyed by city employees..

Last year, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) declared the parking perk was a taxable benefit. Not admitting any liability, the city sent more than $450,000 to the CRA, but challenged the ruling.

It appears that appeal has not been settled but the amount owing is increasing daily.

Currently, the city does not deduct the free parking benefit when income taxes are withheld from the employee’s pay cheque.

Instead, the city is gambling the CRA will agree that the benefit is not taxable.

The chance of this happening is akin to the sun entering total permanent eclipse.

Regardless, the taxpayers who have already ponyed up the $450,000, could be stuck with an even greater amount if the city loses the appeal.

Other municipalities have agreed that employee free parking is a taxable benefit that the employee must pay.

This is yet another example of mushroom politics practiced by the Mayor and her dominant majority of seven supporters on council who vote in a bloc.

The people who pay the bills are left in the dark, again.


Filed under Between the Lines

5 responses to “Should city staff’s free parking perk end?

  1. I can’t think of a single reason city employees should get free parking. Not one. In my three years of living here, I have compiled quite a list of things that really disgust me. For the life of me, I can\\’t understand how Farbridge manages to stay in office. A change is badly needed, but unless somebody comes along who really knows how to educate the voters about what is needed vs. what we have – it will be more of the same.

    • Jay: The great majority in Guelph is waking up. Groups of citizens are banding together to prepare for the overthrow of the majority of council who support Mayor Farbridge. Working together we can make it happen.

    • Jay Morrison: I’m not pessimistic about the future of the city. Civic politics is cyclical and inevitably change comes. Most residents are not persuaded that the Farbridge administration warrants re-election. In the next two years the task is to contain the radical policies as best we can until the opportunity comes to make the changes to restore common sense and fiscal responsibility back to city hall.

  2. paulphelan

    The sooner she is ousted from her throne along with her henchmen the better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. jerry

    I think they should all buy the new bus pass card so they can just swipe
    it and it makes life so much easier.Plus just think of all the parking spaces that
    would be freed up so more people can go down town and shop.

    (sarcasm runneth over).

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