Representative of the National Allied Golf Associations (NAGA) were in Ottawa on Tuesday to lobby for tax fairness for the game. NAGA carried with it that industry’s updated economic impact study that was released Tuesday morning.
“Canada is a golfing country,” said NAGA spokesman Jeff Calderwood,who also serves as CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association of Canada.
“There are an estimated 5.7 million Canadian golfers and there are 2,300 golf courses and practice ranges in Canada,” he said.
“It is the country’s most popular sport. There are more golfers in Canada than there are hockey players and the industry is worth more than $14-billion per year to the Canadian economy,” he added. “Unfortunately, the golf industry in Canada suffers from an outdated 40-year-old tax policy that singles out golf businesses in an unfair manner,” said Calderwood.
“We are in Ottawa (Tuesday) to call on the federal government to correct this inequity and to restore tax fairness for Canada’s golf industry,” he said. The Canada Revenue Agency does not allow deductions for expenses incurred by business people entertaining clients at golf courses.
As a result, Canada’s 2,300 golf courses, most small business operators, feel that they cannot compete fairly with other industries with which the CRA does support entertaining clients.
“To Canada’s 2,300 golf course operators, who are now facing the most competitive marketplace in our industry’s history, this unfair tax legislation is no longer a tolerable disadvantage,” said Calderwood.
Before embarking on Tuesday’s mission, NAGA unveiled the results of its updated economic impact study, which shows that the Canadian golf industry generates $14.3-billion in economic activity and that the industry provides 300,100 golf-related jobs.
It also showed that $533-million are generated at more than 37,000 charitable events at golf courses and that golf-related travel within Canada generates nearly $2.5-billion in tourism annually.
Based on a nation-wide survey of more than 15,000 golfers and more than 300 golf courses in 10 provinces and three territories, the 2014 study provides follow-up data to the economic impact study released in 2009.
“The economic impact study reinforces that the game of golf in Canada continues to have a tremendous financial, charitable, tourism and positive environmental impact in communities across Canada,” said Calderwood.
“The study outlines the considerable scope and magnitude of the impact that our sport has on the Canadian economy,” he added.
The 2014 study again conducted by Strategic Networks Group (SNG).
“We were very pleased to have been invited back to conduct this important research on behalf of the Canadian golf industry,” said SNG vice president Thomas McGuire.
“This 2014 study draws on a massive sample of Canadian golfers and course operators and clearly demonstrates that the Canadian golf industry continues to be a significant nationwide driver of economic impacts,” he added.
“What this study shows in relationship to the 2009 research is that golf in Canada has been able to maintain itself over a period of very challenging global economic circumstances that had left no sector of the economy untouched,” said McGuire.
According to the study, golf accounts for an estimated $14.3-billion of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is up from the $12.2 billion reported in 2009. The 2009 figures are adjusted by the consumer price index and reported as current dollars.
The study also states that golf provides:
- 300,100 direct, indirect and induced jobs (342,000 in 2009).
- $8.3 billion in household income ($8-billion in 2009).
- $1.4-billion in property and other indirect taxes ($1.3-billion in 2009).
- $2.2 billion in income taxes ($2.6 billion in 2009).
The total direct economic activity (total direct sales, golf related travel, capital spending) resulting from the Canadian golf industry is estimated at $19.7-billion, according to the study.
It also says revenues generated directly by golf courses and their facilities and stand-alone driving and practice ranges ($5-billion) rivals the revenues generated by all other participation sports and recreation facilities combined ($4.8-billion) in Canada.
For an executive summary and links to the study, click here.