Beginning December 1, bicycles and bike helmets will be exempted from the 8% provincial retail sales tax in Ontario, Canada. "We want to encourage more Ontarians - young and young-at-heart - to get outdoors, spend time riding bikes as a family and with friends, or to try riding to work if possible, leaving the car at home," said Ontario Premier McGuinty.
The full details are at the Ontario Ministry of Revenue website. Bicycles purchased for under $1000 are exempt, as well as bike safety equipment such as helmets, reflectors, lights, bells, horns, and mirrors. Bike rental, bike parts, non-safety bike accessories and labor for repairs and assembly remain taxable.
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This is sort of lame by Canadian standards. British Columbia, for instance, has no provincial sales tax on bikes at all. For smaller Ontario bike shops, this means that they'll have to reprogram their point of sales systems to just charge taxes *sometimes*. This will be a pain for them. I fear that it will benefit the big bike sellers - Canadian Tire and Walmart - more than it will stimulate business for the small guys. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, but McGinty really should have gone a little further with this one.