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BC: Kill the Carbon Tax!

August 12, 2012
BC: Kill the Carbon Tax!
  • CTF submits 25-page report to B.C. carbon tax review panel
  • CTF B.C. supporters tell their stories of carbon tax’s negative impact

VANCOUVER, B.C.: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today submitted its recommendation to kill the B.C. carbon tax with the provincial government panel reviewing the tax.

The CTF has recommended “that the Government of British Columbia immediately repeal the B.C. carbon tax, including all revenue neutrality tools, if necessary to balance the provincial budget.”

“It’s time for the carbon tax to go,” said Jordan Bateman, the CTF’s B.C. director. “It hasn’t accomplished its environmental goals and is hurting B.C.’s competitiveness both in North America and internationally. Taxpayers—both individual and business—need relief.”

Earlier this summer, the CTF asked its B.C. supporters to send in their thoughts on the carbon tax. Hundreds responded with notes sharing their feelings and personal stories of the hardships the carbon tax has imposed on them. Those submissions became the foundation for the CTF’s 25-page report to the panel.

While the carbon tax is technically revenue neutral for government, many of the offsetting tax cuts do not help the average taxpayer. Among other tax offsets, the B.C. Budget lists the small business venture capital tax credit, a corporate income tax cut, an industrial property tax credit, interactive digital media tax credit, scientific research tax break and a film industry tax break as offsetting the carbon tax.

The personal income tax cut only offsets $228 million of the carbon tax’s $1.2 billion overall take. The CTF would like that particular tax cut to remain in place, even if the carbon tax is scrapped.

“It’s ridiculous for a taxpayer to be told it’s revenue neutral when they are forced to pay the ever-increasing carbon tax but have no ability to access the corresponding tax breaks like venture capital credits, industrial property credits, research and experimental development grants or digital media credits,” said Bateman. “Many taxpayers feel left behind by having to pay both a carbon tax and increased prices for any good or service moved by vehicle in B.C.” 

For the CTF’s full submission to the carbon tax review panel, click here.

For a regional breakdown of total gas taxes paid (Lower Mainland, Victoria, rest of B.C. and total B.C.), please see our backgrounder here.

For a graphic on Lower Mainland gas taxes and revenue, click here.

on August 25, 2012
I'm quite disappointed that the CTF (an organization that I love, even if not actually a member of) has suggested killing BC's carbon tax. Although it may be a no-brainer for global warming deniers, for anyone who takes the threat global warning seriously, carbon taxes are by far the best way of tackling it. Other approaches such as cap-and-trade, emissions regulations, etc. all suffer major holes including: piece-meal coverage, picking of winners/losers, endless red tape/regulations, loop-holes, etc. Carbon taxes like the one in BC are far more effective, efficient, and fair. I get it that the CTF is generally anti-tax, and I support that, but it should be in a smart way. Not all taxes are bad and having some taxes is necessary. I'd much rather have the BC carbon tax with reduced income taxes than cancel it and see income taxes rise, plus have to suffer the consequence of alternative regulations for tackling climate change.

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on August 27, 2012

You need to do some more digging into the B.C. carbon tax--it suffers from the problems (piece-meal coverage, picking of winners/losers, endless red tape/regulations, loop-holes) you loathe about other climate action programs.

The carbon tax on natural gas for people heating their homes is 40% of the cost of the actual gas. Yet, the government has declared it a clean energy source to power LNG plants. 

Digital media--who have tiny carbon footprints--get tens of millions of dollars in carbon tax revenues; that's the definition of picking winners and losers!

And that vaunted income tax cut was tiny (5% on the first two brackets; just $228 million of the $1.3 billion carbon tax haul) and leaves most B.C. taxpayers worse off; they spend more on carbon tax than they get back in income tax.

Just because it says "carbon" in the name doesn't make it good or right.

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