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.