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Quebec budget fails to include tax write-off for transit users

Quebecers who purchase monthly transit passes won't be able to claim that expense on their tax returns this year. Tim Sargeant/Global News

The deadline to file income taxes is only a month away. Several different types of expenses can be claimed against your taxable income, but not monthly public transit passes if you live in Quebec.

Some riders tell Global News the Quebec government missed an opportunity to allow for tax write-offs this year when the finance minister tabled the 2018 budget on March 27th.

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“It would definitely give people an incentive to pay for public transportation — it would be cheaper for them,” one rider told Global News outside the Snowdon metro station.

Société de transport de Montréal (STM) board member Marvin Rotrand isn’t concerned that the tax savings incentive wasn’t included in this year’s budget.

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“Obviously the government probably had a discussion and probably felt that investment in new infrastructure and more services would bring more people into transit than a tax break,” Rotrand told Global News.

The province plans to spend an additional $845 million on current public transit services during the next five years.

It’s also planning to invest in the metro extension to Anjou, estimated to cost $3.9 billion.

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The government is also committed to spend billions on the new light-rail electric train project pegged at $6.3 billion.

The finance minister wasn’t available to comment but details in the the 2018 budget project public transit ridership will increase by 6.5 per cent by 2022-2023.

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