What is a Carbon Tax:
- A carbon tax is usually defined as a tax based on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from burning fuels. It puts a price on each tonne of GHG emitted, sending a price signal that will, over time, elicit a powerful market response across the entire economy, resulting in reduced emissions. It has the advantage of providing an incentive without favoring any one way of reducing emissions over another. By reducing fuel consumption, increasing fuel efficiency, using cleaner fuels and adopting new technology, businesses and individuals can reduce the amount they pay in carbon tax, or even offset it altogether.
Personal Incentive to research on BC carbon tax:
- British Columbia’s carbon tax qualifies as by far the most significant carbon tax in the Western Hemisphere.
- Also, we live in BC; knowing policy for our province offers more motive:)
History of Carbon Tax in BC:
- On July 1, 2008, the revenue-neutral carbon tax was implemented-it equates to an additional 2.4 cents on a litre of gasoline, or 9.1 cents Canadian per gallon
- On July 1, 2012, the final scheduled increase will take effect-the tax equated to 7.24 cents per litre of gasoline-No further rate increases or expansions are planned at this time. This could be the final increase.
Facts about Revenue-Neutral Tax and BC Principles:
Revenue-neutral means that little if any of the tax revenues raised by taxing carbon emissions would be retained by government. The vast majority of the revenues would be returned to the public, with, perhaps, a very small amount utilized to mitigate the otherwise negative impacts of carbon taxes on low-income energy users. In other words, The carbon tax revenues are being returned to taxpayers through personal income and business income tax cuts, as promised by Carole Taylor, who as BC finance minister spearheaded the push for the tax in the first half of 2008. And these principles below are what BC now following:
- All carbon tax revenue is recycled through tax reductions
- The tax rate started low and increases gradually
- Low-income individuals and families are protected
- The tax has the broadest possible base
- he tax will be integrated with other measures
How does It Work?
The carbon tax puts a price on carbon emissions to encourage individuals, businesses, industry and others to use less fossil fuel and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The initial tax rate was relatively low and has increased gradually to allow families and businesses time to reduce their emissions. The tax is also intentionally broadly based and paid by all those who consume fossil fuels in the province.
A carbon tax directly suppresses the incentive that we emit a large amount of greenhouse gases. More importantly and more deeply, it provides incentives to develop carbon-reducing measures such as energy efficiency, renewable energy , low-carbon fuels. And people might even change their driving behavior to bicycling, start recycling and become overall mindfulness toward energy consumption.
Is it Effective?
Since 2008 fuel consumption per head in the province has dropped by 4.5%, more than elsewhere in Canada. British Columbians use less fuel than any other Canadians. And British Columbians pay lower income taxes too.
Voices Against Carbon Tax:
In an report I read on Taxpayer.com, it t seems the further you get away from Vancouver, the more hated the carbon tax becomes. Rural B.C. Makes Case Against Carbon Tax:
Fruit growers, local business owners, farmers all think they are “victims” of carbon tax.
Carbon Tax Suddenly Becomes “Fiscal Cliff” Debate in U.S.
Government Debate: Carbon Tax doesn’t hurt economy
The new tax has not weakened the province’s economy, which has been boosted by high world prices for its commodity exports. Unemployment is slightly below the national average, and growth slightly higher. Because the tax started low and its rises were set out in advance, businesses had plenty of time to make plans to cut their carbon use.
Although the implementation of carbon tax in BC may hurt small, rural business in some degree, it is unquestionable that carbon tax is working significantly in the aspects of reducing greenhouse gas emission, which is carbon tax’s primary purpose. In addition, BC Ministry of Finance is realizing carbon tax’s “revenue-neutral” nature.
- Where Carbon is Taxed. http://www.carbontax.org/progress/where-carbon-is-taxed/
- What is a Carbon Tax? http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/A1.htm
- Motor Fuel Tax and Carbon Tax. http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=1A80D78D2FC440ECB036B9EDE1EA7771
- Rural B.C. Makes Case Against Carbon Tax. http://taxpayer.com/british-columbia/rural-bc-makes-case-against-carbon-tax