Guess whose name is coming off the Christmas card list? Meed Ward wants staff parking treated as a taxable benefit.

By Pepper Parr

March 3, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

She is serious.  Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward is moving with some dispatch on her desire to see the city show the free parking staff get as a taxable benefit.

Lot of staff in the Locust Street lot.  Covered space is a prime perk – Council member wants to tax it.

In a note to her colleagues she said:  Upon further discussion with staff, staff have advised that employee parking in the downtown has been provided on a scramble basis which is open to interpretation.  Therefore, Council has the option to direct staff to review and address in 2014 employee parking with respect to the taxable benefit status, specifically for union and non-unionized city employees, downtown local board employees and members of Council including implementation issues such as notification requirements, options and, other related impacts.

Meed Ward created a data sheet for her council colleagues pointing out WHAT

All of these details could be outlined in an implementation plan staff would bring back to council.  Thus the wording of the motion for tomorrow’s meeting, to keep it simple, is as follows:

 “Direct staff report back on an implementation plan in 2014 for employee parking as a taxable benefit.”

Now we get to see just how the other six members of council treat this matter.  Teachers get free parking – we don’t know yet if this is treated as a taxable benefit.  The legislation certainly suggest it should be treated as such.

In her note to her colleagues Meed Ward brings up the issue of “parking on a scramble basis” which is when the first person to get to a space can take it.  And as long as there are spaces available – a person can park.  When spaces are not available – they are out of luck.

Expect to see considerable discussion around that issue.

If the city manager were smart – and he is – he should just fold on this one and thank Meed Ward for her contribution and advise that the city will resolve this issue quickly – in favour of the tax payers.

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward is looking at the financial side of the city much more these days. As chair of the Community and Corporate Services committee she shepherds the budget review through the Standing Committee and has brought a much more feisty approach to that process.

For those that watch the goings on at city hall – it would be easy to get the impression that Meed Ward just might be positioning  herself for a move.  She has yet to file nomination papers as a candidate in ward 2 – but then that applies to everyone else on Council except for the Mayor who filed early in January.

Meed Ward brought up the matter of free staff parking and said she thught it should be debated during the budget cycle.  This Council hopes to make the budget final on Tuesday – this issue puts a fly in that ointment.

Background links:

Is Meed Ward looking at her chess board and plotting her next move?

Meed Ward suggests free staff parking is taxable.

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4 comments to Guess whose name is coming off the Christmas card list? Meed Ward wants staff parking treated as a taxable benefit.

  • Roger

    Finally common sense at city hall – funny how the accountant on council – (Councillor Sharman) did not see this as an issue. I applaud Councillor Meed-Ward for this – bringing common sense – if in doubt – ask people who park and pay for parking

  • gordon fraser

    People working at the hospital (RNs, staff, Doctors) all pay for their parking (>$40/month). Why shouldn’t city staff and councillors’ pay??? This is lost revenue that is made up by our municipal taxes.

    • CRA requires fair market value payment … therefore it would seem the hospital staff should ALSO be paying taxes since $40/month isnt want hospital visitors pay!

      Makes you wonder about the federal, provincial and regional employees in the downtown and the staff of private businesses ??? Certainly the school teachers at Central should pay too!

      I think we (CRA) have discovered a huge untapped revenue source.

  • Samantha

    A normal person with a sense of “doing right” would have quietly approached the city manager and explained their concern about the taxable benefit and the possible implications it could have on the city if the CRA audited the books. The city manager would have then taken whatever measures were necessary.

    But no, it is an election year and the poorly informed councillor has decided to make this an election issue for reasons only known to her and her advisors.

    You can be sure the CRA will come calling.

    Thank you Mrs Ward.

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