[WW] Canada-US Border Tax

According to news reported by media hubs like CTV and the Globe and Mail, the Department of Homeland Security in the United States is urging Congress to look for a way to increase revenue (or save money, which was the term that the Globe and Mail used). Currently the proposition is to charge a land border-crossing fee for those entering the United States from Canada and Mexico. This is, evidently, not being well received by many north or south of the border.

Image courtesy of CBC.

Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has estmated a figure of $21 billion annually spent by Canadians travelling to the US. The department thinks a fee to simply enter the U.S. would be bad for business between the two countries.

Since this proposal is still in brainstorming mode, there is yet to be any legitimate action towards a fee. The ideas currently in circulation may include an increase in taxes paid by those crossing the border by bus or plane. However, no matter what the decision may be, Canadians are currently determined to lobby against the idea.

Here's a quote from an article by CBC:

The 2014 Department of Homeland Security budget proposal seeks increases in existing fees charged for services, including fees that air and sea travellers must pay when they enter the country. No fees have previously been imposed on those who enter by car, bus or train.

But the department also wants to study the feasibility of collecting a land border crossing fee for pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the northern and southwest borders of the United States.

According to the request, the study should include:
  • The feasibility of collecting from existing operators on the land border, such as bridge commissions, toll operators, commercial passenger bus and commercial passenger rail.
  • Requirements to collect at land ports of entry where existing capability is not present.
  • Any legal and regulatory impediments to establishing and collecting a land border crossing fee. The budget doesn't suggest how much the fee would be. The study is to be completed within nine months.

Now there are those who raise an eyebrow over what the motives are for generating revenue and whether the United States is simply taking advantage and leeching some funds from their neighbouring countries.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. What are your thoughts on the proposed study and idea for a travellers fee?

No comments:

Post a Comment