This column imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist, Byron the Bicyclist and Patty the Pedestrian.
Dear Byron the Bicyclist;
Axe the carbon tax! So says a Pierre Poilievre, Canada’s Conservative Leader right here on local radio. I like the idea! This April, the carbon tax will be 14.3 cents a litre on gasoline.
What about this carbon tax? Where does the government do with all that money?
Signed; Maddy the gas guzzling, carbon emitting Motorist
Dear Gassy Maddy;
Thanks for the confessions, Maddy.
But on to your question: where does the carbon tax money go? I was wondering that myself. Could it pay for bikes lanes? Transit? Indirectly, they can help reduce carbon emissions.
No, not with that money.
In B.C., the carbon tax goes into general revenue which pays for everything from roads to hospitals to schools and more.
But the more interesting fact is that in B.C., as the carbon taxes go up, other taxes go down. It balances out.
As a result, B.C. has the lowest personal tax rates in Canada for people with incomes less than $125,000 per year. (Tipping, Jill and Kniewasser, Maximilian. April 6, 2019. Don’t believe carbon pricing really works? Just ask B.C. Pembina Institute. Found at https://www.pembina.org/op-ed/bc-carbon-tax-innovation)
So, in B.C., “axing the carbon tax” would mean increasing other taxes.
After 10 years, has the tax shift result in lower carbon emissions? Has it shrunk the economy?
The same article cited above states: “Since introducing pollution pricing in 2008, per capita emissions in B.C. are down by 14 per cent, while the economy has grown by 26 per cent.”
So, in B.C., we are taxed less on our incomes and more on the fossil fuels we burn. How about that Maddy!
Ride a bike. Walk more. Drive less and be less gassy. “Axe” your own carbon tax.
Signed; Byron the Bicyclist
Bert Groenenberg has biked or walked to work for over 30 years.