PST Exemption for Firefighting Equipment
Whereas firefighting equipment is extremely expensive, and must be periodically upgraded for safety and effectiveness reasons; and
Whereas there is a provincial interest in strong municipal fire departments, as many departments perform services such as motor vehicle extractions outside of their municipal boundaries; and
Whereas previous funding sources, such as the federal/provincial/municipal Joint Emergency Preparedness Program, have been discontinued; and
Whereas currently a PST exemption only exists for fire trucks, and not the variety of other firefighting equipment necessary for effective response;
Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA advocate with the provincial government to have all firefighting equipment designated as PST exempt.
With regard to the resolution concerning a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption for firefighting equipment, I note that the PST exemption for fire trucks and attached equipment purchases by municipalities has been in place since 1998. This was done to help mitigate the challenges faced by municipalities for one-time, large ticket items like a new fire truck. Items such as other firefighting equipment were not included in this exemption at that time as they were considered to be recurring capital purchases. The introduction of an expanded exemption at this time would represent a change to the current system of support provided to municipalities through revenue-sharing and other spending programs.