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BC gov’t says carbon tax good for environment, economy

When the carbon tax went through its annual increase on July 1, the British Columbia government remained confident the tax would be good for both the economy and the environment.

 

“The revenue from the carbon tax is being returned to British Columbians through tax cuts and income credits ensuring more is returned to taxpayers than government collects,” said Finance Minister Colin Hansen. “The carbon tax is being phased in to give individuals and businesses time to adapt and innovate in order to reduce emissions and offset the impact of the tax.”

 

According to a provincial government news release, the carbon tax puts a price on emissions to encourage British Columbians to make more environmentally responsible choices by reducing their fossil fuel use. On July 1, the carbon tax rate on a litre of gasoline increased 1.12 cents to 4.45 cents per litre and by 1.27 cents to 5.11 cents per litre of light fuel oil.

 

To ensure low-income residents are not harmed by the tax increase, the B.C. government says it will increase the B.C. Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit by a further 10% in 2011. The government says the credit will be reviewed annually to ensure it continues to help offset the cost of the carbon tax for those with low incomes.

 

“Each of us has the opportunity to help the environment and create a better future for our children by making climate-smart choices in our daily lives,” said John Yap, minister of State for Climate Action. “By putting a price on carbon and returning every dollar raised to individuals and businesses, our approach is a win for both the environment and the economy.”

 

During the first two years of the carbon tax, some $848 million has been collected. The corresponding personal and business tax cuts have returned over $1 billion to British Columbians. According to the government, this is $232 million more returned to British Columbians through tax cuts than was collected from the carbon tax.

 

More information on the carbon tax is available at www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/carbon_tax.htm.