Recreational boating in Canada is a $10 billion industry including direct, indirect and induced spending, supporting 75,000 direct and indirect Canadian jobs and about 4,800 businesses. Both federal and local tax policies have major implications for recreational boating manufacturers.
Questions? Contact Marie-France Mackinnon
May 2021 Advocacy Work on Luxury Tax—write to the PM and Finance Minister!
May 26, 2021
Last week, NMMA Canada president Sara Anghel met with over a dozen Conservative Members of Parliament in an hour-long consultation co-hosted by Stephanie Kusie (Transport Critic) and the Hon. Ed Fast (Finance Critic). Representatives from the auto and aviation sectors were also present. Anghel drove home the message that the luxury tax will likely harm middle-class jobs in the recreational boating sector when consumer sales drop. She also pointed out that history shows that governments usually collect dramatically less revenue than expected from luxury taxes—such as the United States luxury tax in the early 1990s, where the tax resulted in a net loss of $8 million. Conservative MPs were highly receptive to our case against the luxury tax and asked numerous questions, such as the effect of the luxury tax on free trade agreements, the position of trade unions, and the expected economic and jobs impact on our industry. We committed to work with the Conservative Caucus to get our message across in Parliament and during committee hearings on budget legislation.
NMMA Canada also met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior policy advisor on tax policy, Dominic Cormier. He listened to our arguments and economic impact statistics carefully and indicated the government is open to working with our industry on the implementation details. Unfortunately, we did not receive assurances that the luxury tax would be repealed. We will continue to put pressure on the political side and point out the damage that the tax will wreak on middle-class jobs in our industry.
Fisheries and Oceans Minster Bernadette Jordon and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra held consultations with a handful of marine stakeholders to ask for recommendations on sustainability for our oceans. NMMA Canada had the opportunity to tell both ministers the recreational boating perspective including stating to them that the proposed luxury tax will have unintended consequences to residents of our coastal communities who will lose their jobs when sales decline. Minister Jordon acknowledged our concerns directly and committed to consider it further with NMMA Canada.
Moving on, NMMA Canada together with Boating BC and Boating Ontario met with the Director General and Policy Staff at Finance Canada. They will be drafting a technical paper on the tax which they will share with us for comment.
In addition to the advocacy by NMMA Canada, we would invite you as business owners to write Prime Minister Trudeau and the Finance Minister using this template letter. The government needs to hear directly from businesses across the country about the negative economic and jobs impact of the tax. The best way we can push for change is by highlighting the potential damage this tax will do to regional and local economies.
National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada
Director, Federal & Provincial Government Relations
Luxury Tax Update -- Week of February 10, 2020
NMMA Canada had the opportunity to attend the annual Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus Annual Meeting last week. NMMA’s Sara Anghel made a presentation to MPs on the economic impact a luxury tax would have on local businesses and jobs that rely on the boating sector. The following Members of Parliament were present:
Blaine Calkins, MP Red Deer—Lacombe
Bob Zimmer, MP Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies
Corey Tochor, MP Saskatoon—University
Gudie Hutchings, MP Long Range Mountains
Larry Bagnell, MP Yukon
Lianne Rood, MP Lambton—Kent—Middlesex
Mel Arnold, MP North Okanagan—Shuswap
Rob Morrison, MP Kooteney—Columbia
Wayne Easter, MP Malpeque
Of note, MP Easter is Chair of the Finance Committee which is currently holding pre-budget consultations. Mr. Easter was very interested in our industry concerns and promised to return to the committee and inform the other 11 committee members. Also, MP Zimmer — who co-chairs the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus along with MP Hutchings — volunteered to send a letter to Minister Morneau on the tax issue on behalf of the Outdoor Caucus.
NMMA also met with Finance Minister Morneau’s special advisor Ian Foucher who is instrumental in the upcoming budget. Mr. Foucher was attentive to our concerns and will be reviewing the issue closely. Finally, Sara Anghel met with the office of the Minister of Small Business to express our concerns.
On Monday February 3rd, NMMA Canada and Boating Ontario also had the opportunity to attend a meeting with five local MPs at the Greater Barrier Chamber of Commerce. The meeting also included representatives from local marinas, boat dealers and an auto dealership. Boating Ontario CEO Rick Layzell and NMMA Canada Director of Federal & Provincial Government Relations Jim Wielgosz presented a slide deck that outlined the economic footprint of the recreational boating industry and the projected damage of a luxury tax. The MPs were highly engaged by the presentation and pledged to support our efforts to pressure the government to abandon this ill-conceived policy. The following Members of Parliament were present:
John Brassard, MP Barrie—Innisfil
Doug Shipley, MP Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte
Scot Davidson, MP York—Simcoe
Terry Dowdall, MP Simcoe—Grey
Bruce Stanton, MP Simcoe North
On February 27th NMMA Canada members, together with boat dealers and yacht brokers, will gather in Ottawa for ”Recreational Boating Day on the Hill“. We have requested meetings with over 150 MPs, Ministers and senior government officials to promote a message of competitiveness and job creation for the boating sector. This will be our best opportunity before the 2020 budget to drive home the message that a luxury tax on boats will put thousands of jobs at stake and likely won’t create the revenue the government is predicting.
We urge all members to continue reaching out to local MPs, municipal officials and other key stakeholders during this critical pre-budget period concerning the negative impact that a 10% luxury tax on boats over $100,000 would have on your business. Please see the attached template which can be used. History shows that luxury taxes have failed all over the world including the United States, Italy, Norway & New Zealand as consumers simply diverted their spending to other forms of recreation and the governments collected less tax revenue. Our ask is that recreational boats, which bring middle class families together just like other recreational vehicles, be excluded from this proposal.
We will continue to provide updates on a weekly basis regarding our efforts to fight the luxury tax.
Luxury Tax Update -- Week of February 3, 2020
“The Toronto International Boat Show wrapped up on Sunday, January 26th and after a challenging opening weekend snow storm, the crowds thundered back making for a strong retail sales closing weekend. Retail results were a mix of good to great with a noted emphasis on fiberglass sales in several key categories. After speaking with dozens of dealer principles and sales personnel it is worth noting that not a single consumer spoke to any of these retailers regarding the proposed luxury tax. This supports the recommendation of all trade associations that we continue to battle this proposal from the industry and not in front of the consumer at this time.” Rick Layzell, CEO, Boating Ontario
We urge all members to continue with their local political community communications during this critical pre- budget period regarding the proposed 10% luxury tax on boats over $100,000. We continue to demonstrate to government that luxury taxes have failed all over the world including the United States, Italy, Norway & New Zealand as consumers simply diverted their spending to other forms of recreation and the governments collected less net taxes. Our ask is that recreational boats that bring families together just like other recreational vehicles be excluded from this proposal.
Follow-up requests have been sent out to to meet with the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains and we expect to meet with them in the near future. Following is a list of meetings that have taken place since January 20th:
Industry is reminded and encouraged to fill out the pre-budget consultation survey; go to this link and make a submission on behalf of your business.
The Industry will assemble in Ottawa for Recreational Boating Day on the Hill at the end of February where the industry will request to meet with over 150 MPs, Ministers and departmental staff.
We will continue to provide updates on a weekly basis regarding our efforts on the luxury tax.
Luxury Tax Update -- Week of January 20, 2020
The Federal governments proposed 10% luxury tax on boats over $100,000 is a priority action item for all of us in the boating industry. We urge all members to continue their local political community communications during this critical pre budget period. Our position is that luxury taxes have failed all over the world including the United States, Italy, Norway & New Zealand as consumers simply diverted their spending to other forms of recreation and the governments collected less net taxes. Our ask is that recreational boats that bring families together just like other recreational vehicles be excluded from this proposal.
We have requested to meet with the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains and expect these meetings to be accepted shortly. Following is a list of meetings that have taken place on your behalf as we continue to fight for you:
Along with these meetings we will do:
- Submit Pre-Budget Comments to the government — Industry is also encouraged to fill out the pre-budget consultation survey; go to this link and make a submission on behalf of your business
- Targeted media campaign — Opinion article on ‘luxury tax’ in political publications including the Hill Times and iPolitics which are read by Ottawa government staff
- Recreational Boating Day on the Hill (End of February) where the industry will request to meet with over 150 MPs, Ministers and departmental staff
We will continue to provide updates on a weekly basis regarding our efforts on the luxury tax.