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Carbon tax costs taxpayers $200 million to administer

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2023/12/08

The cost of administering the federal carbon tax and rebate scheme has risen to nearly $200 million since its inception in 2019. 

That’s according to government records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and first reported by the online news site Blacklock’s Reporter

The hit to taxpayers last year alone was $82.6 million, with the government assigning 465 full-time employees to administer the carbon tax and rebate scheme. 

“The carbon tax is a double whammy for taxpayers,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “First, it makes our gas, heating and groceries more expensive. And then we’re forced to pay higher taxes to fund Trudeau’s battalion of carbon tax bureaucrats.” 

The records were released in response to order paper questions from Conservative MP Chris Warkentin (Grande Prairie-Mackenzie). 

Carbon tax administration costs totaled $82.6 million in 2022, and $116.5 million between 2019 and 2021. 

Last year, there were 223 bureaucrats “assigned to work on the collection of the fuel charge,” while 242 administered the rebate scheme.

Annual costs spiked last year as the government changed the rebate scheme “from a

refundable credit claimed annually on personal income tax returns, to [a] quarterly tax-free payment made through the benefit system,” according to the records. 

“It should be obvious to everyone that the feds can’t raise taxes, skim hundreds-of-millions off the top and hire hundreds of new bureaucrats, then somehow make everyone better off with rebates,” Terrazzano said. 

Cost to administer the carbon tax and rebate scheme, 2019 – 2022

Year

Total annual cost

Number of employees

2019

$33,219,471

256

2020

$40,541,290

316

2021

$42,766,636

333

2022

$82,628,993

465

The carbon tax will cost the average family up to $710 this year even after the rebates, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the federal government’s independent budget watchdog. 

The carbon tax currently costs 14 cents per litre of gasoline and 12 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. By 2030, the carbon tax will cost 37 cents per litre of gasoline and 32 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. 

“Canadians pay higher taxes so federal paper-pushers can increase our fuel prices and make our lives more expensive,” Terrazzano said. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can immediately make life more affordable by scrapping his carbon tax and taking some of the air out of his ballooning bureaucracy.” 


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