Leave the Tax Rules alone for Existing Income Trusts sign now

The undersigned demand that the government of Canada stick to the main part of its pre-election promise to not change the tax rules for income trusts.

More specifically, while we realize that the government feels it must prevent further so-called "tax leakage" due to the conversion of Corporations into income trusts, it would be sufficient for the government to disallow any new conversions (e.g. BCE and Telus) but leave the rules as they are for all income trusts in existence as of October 31, 2006.

The so-called "tax leakage" is estimated to be less than one half of one percent of tax revenues received by the government. On the other hand, the damage done by the government is estimated to be around $20 Billion of lost market value. This comes out of Canadians' pockets while reducing capital gains taxes by Billions of dollars and destabilizing the market.

There is no evidence to support the Finance Minister's view that income trusts are weakening the Canadian corporate landscape. However, there can be no doubt that the Minister has himself weakened the Canadian business landscape by making many income trusts vulnerable to foreign takeovers due to the lower cost of buying them following his October 31 announcement.

Many Canadians prefer to receive their share of profits from companies in which they hold an interest, as opposed to watching management build themselves empires which fail to add shareholder value (e.g. BCE, Manitoba Telecom etc.).

The conservative government must make things at least MOSTLY right by leaving the tax rules alone for trusts created on or before October 31, 2006. Failure to do so will convey very clearly that this government cannot be trusted with any promises it makes. The government's handling of this situation will be remembered at election time!

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Fred PageBy:
International PolicyIn:
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The Government of Canada

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