The federal government is changing the way stock options are taxed for big established companies.

Executives who get large stock grants will pay more in tax.

Under the current rules, stock-option benefits are taxed at half the normal rate of personal income, the same rate as capital gains.

The plan announced in yesterday’s federal budget will apply a $200 thousand annual cap on stock-option grants that are eligible for the lower-tax treatment, for employees of large, long-established firms.

On the markets:

It was a down day on Bay Street Tuesday as the TSX fell by 63 points.

Six of 11 sectors were lower with energy, financials, tech, and industrials among the laggards.

Oil was down 6 cents to $59.03 U.S. a barrel.

Gold moved up $5.00 to $1,306 while the loonie strengthened by 6/100ths of a cent to $.075 U.S.