No carbon tax relief at the gas pumps

B.C.’s carbon tax jumping to $35 per ton in April

An increase in B.C’s carbon tax to about 8.5 cents a litre will hit Okanagan drivers at the gas pumps in 2018.

The impact on gas prices is the result B.C.’s carbon tax jumping to $35 per ton in April, making it the highest carbon tax in Canada.

That will translate to about an extra $5 every time you fill up your car and about $10 tacked on if you drive an SUV, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

The carbon tax is also applied to natural gas and home heating oil.

Kris Sims, BC director for CTF, said starting in 2018 the B.C. carbon tax will no longer be labelled as “revenue neutral” and the money will pour into government coffers without earmarks or tracking as to where it’s spent.

Related: Gas price spike in fall 2017

Sims said with more than 5.7 billion litres of gasoline sold in B.C. last year, that means the provincial government will rake in an average of $490 million in gasoline carbon tax, and when the diesel carbon tax is included, that jumps to more than $600 million in tax revenue taken from motorists in one year.

“The carbon tax is going to cost us even more and now we have no idea where it’s going,” said Sims.

“If you have two vehicles in your family this means the carbon tax now costs you about $360 per year just to drive your kids to school and get yourself to work and the grocery store. This doesn’t include the costs of all those goods that need to be trucked in. We will pay for that too.”

But that depressing news aside, Sims said there are some positives on the tax front for the year ahead.

Sims points to cuts to the Medical Services Plan, with payments sliced in half as of Jan. 1, 2018.

Sims explained that MSP reduction will save an average two adult home $900 per year in mandatory health care taxes. The government has promised to eliminate the MSP completely within their four-year mandate.

Sims said the CTF has long argued that this unfair, inefficient fee needed to be axed, and will maintain the pressure on government to get rid of it altogether, saving an additional $900 per year per average household.

“The CTF campaigned hard for a cut to MSP, so we’re very pleased this unfair tax will be halved.”

Federally, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums will rise slightly, costing employees and employers an additional $9 and $13 per year, respectively. The indexation of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) will also come into force on July 1, 2018, leading to a slight decrease in payments to eligible families on Jan. 1.

“There are no dramatic income tax changes on the federal side,” said CTF federal director Aaron Wudrick. “Canadians can for the most part breathe easy, but they shouldn’t expect to have much more money in their pockets.”

Wudrick noted that while 2018 did not hold many large tax changes, Canadians can expect further changes in 2019.

“The Trudeau government has delayed imposing its national carbon tax until 2019, and Canada Pension Plan premiums will begin to rise annually as well,” said Wudrick.

“There is still considerable uncertainty on the business tax front, both with respect to the Trudeau government’s controversial small business tax proposals, and due to recent dramatic tax cuts south of the border which will impact Canada’s competitiveness.”


 


newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Funding changes mean closure for Success By 6

B.C. making major changes to early childhood development funding

Back to work for Penticton businesses impacted by bomb threats

Multiple car dealerships were evacuated as the result of an international e-mail hoax

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Consultations to play a critical role in shaping proposed national park reserve

Parks Canada welcomes all respectful comments on proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park

Water samples good, Hedley awaits drinking water A-OK

Water woes in Hedley had some residents questioning the communication plan of the HID earlier this week

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read