An electric vehicle charging station in Duncan B.C. (Black Press files)

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C.’s carbon tax is set to increase again April 1, with rising revenues directed away from personal income tax reductions to targeted programs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the proceeds from the tax on carbon fuels go to increased tax credits to offset the impact for low- and middle-income families. Effective July 1, 2019, the maximum rebate increases 14 per cent for adults and children, for a maximum tax benefit of $400 a year.

Finance Minister Carole James has budgeted $107 million to cover B.C.’s point-of-sale rebates for zero-emission vehicles over three years, out of a $900 million overall budget for its CleanBC initiative. Most of the rest of the CleanBC program details are to be announced later.

After being left at $30 a tonne of emissions from 2013 to 2017 under former premier Christy Clark, the NDP government raised the tax by $5 a tonne last spring and is increasing to $40 a tonne this spring. The impact of the tax is now about eight cents on a litre of gasoline at the pump.

RELATED: Metro Vancouver gasoline prices highest in Canada

RELATED: CleanBC plan aims to reduce emissions 60% by 2040

The zero-emission vehicle program is administered by the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. It provides up to $5,000 for purchase or lease of a new battery electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

The program was topped up last fall with an additional $10 million as electric and plug-in hybrid car sales continued to rise. Electric vehicles were 3.7 per cent of B.C. new car sales by mid-2018.

The province’s CleanBC program includes $58 million in incentives for heat pumps, insulated windows and other high-efficiency improvements for homes. Another $18 million is earmarked for remote and Indigenous communities to move to cleaner energy sources.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said the budget reflects many of his party’s priorities, on additional education spending as well as the CleanBC commitment.

“You can clearly see in this budget the signature of B.C. Green influence in a number of ways,” Weaver said. “We’re pleased to see the funding for CleanBC come forward.”

Revenue from B.C.’s carbon tax is expected to reach $1.7 billion for the fiscal year that starts April 1, up from $1.46 billion in the current year. Revenues are projected to rise to $1.97 billion in 2020-21 and $2.2 billion in 2021-22.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach cinema advocates want to hear from you

Group inspired by local, international examples of community projects

Suspect arrested following gunpoint robbery in Qualicum Beach

Stop and Shop Grocery was robbed June 5; man now in custody

Parksville Qualicum Beach region moves to elevated Stage 3 watering restrictions

City, regional district ask residents to conserve water

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

B.C. woman fighting to block coroner’s report detailing husband’s death

Fears revealing exactly how Ben Kilmer took his life will have traumatic effect on her two children

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read