British Columbia's Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit increases by 10 per cent on July 1 to help low income families and individuals offset the increasing rate of the revenue-neutral carbon tax, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.
Effective July 1, 2011, the carbon tax on gasoline rises by 1.11 cents per litre to 5.56 cents per litre. Other fuels see a similar increase.
Government provides the Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit, paid quarterly, to ensure low- and modest-income British Columbians are compensated for the tax they pay. The 10-per-cent increase brings the payment to $115.50 per adult and $34.50 per child annually.
Every dollar generated by the revenue-neutral carbon tax is returned to British Columbians through tax cuts. For the 2011/12 fiscal year, the tax cuts are expected to return $191 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid. In addition to the Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit, other measures to mitigate the carbon tax for families include the new up-to-$200 Northern and Rural Homeowner benefit and the ongoing benefit of the five-per-cent reduction in the first two personal income bracket rates introduced in 2008.
The carbon tax puts a price on emissions to encourage citizens to reduce their use of fossil fuels and promote more environmentally responsible choices.
Government passed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent from 2007 levels by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050. While the carbon tax makes polluting more expensive, it makes green technologies more affordable and creates new green jobs. As those technologies become cheaper, options such as more fuel-efficient vehicles and more efficient home heating will benefit all British Columbians regardless of where they live.
Finance Minister and Deputy Premier Kevin Falcon:
"We are protecting lower-income individuals and families with the climate action tax credit so that most are better off under the revenue-neutral carbon tax than they were before, especially if they take steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
"The carbon tax is an incentive for all British Columbians to do their part to prevent climate change by reducing fossil fuel use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Whether you switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, shop locally for produce, purchase eco-friendly upgrades for your home, or ride your bike to work, your decisions can make a big difference to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint can lower your energy, water and fuel consumption - not to mention save you money in the long run."
* On July 1, 2011, the carbon tax will rise to a rate equivalent to $25/tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions. This translates to an increase of 1.1 cents per litre for gasoline, 1.28 cents per litre for diesel and an increase of 0.95 cents per cubic metre for natural gas.
* In the first three years of the carbon tax, tax cuts returned an estimated $316 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid. Over the next three years, the tax cuts are expected to return $761 million more to taxpayers than the amount of carbon tax paid.
* It's estimated that by 2020 the carbon tax will save up to three million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually - equal to taking almost 800,000 cars off the road each year.
* There are many free and inexpensive ways to reduce emissions, use fuel more efficiently and reduce fuel and carbon tax costs, including:
o Walk, cycle, carpool or take transit whenever possible.
o Slow down while driving, maintain tire pressure, stop idling, combine trips, carry only the items you need for that trip, and get regular tune ups.
o Wash clothes in cold water, set your water heater to 49 degrees Celsius, take shorter showers, use low-flow shower heads and faucets.
o Unplug electronics when not in use, close drapes and blinds at night, improve insulation and weather stripping, regularly change furnace filters, and turn down the thermostat by three to five degrees at night and while on vacation.
o For more ideas on how to reduce emissions and save money, visit www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/carbon_tax.htm
* Information on the carbon tax is available at www.fin.gov.bc.ca/tbs/tp/climate/carbon_tax.htm
* Ministry of Finance Tax Schedule - Carbon tax rates by fuel type: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/documents_library/shared_documents/Carbon_Tax_Rates_by_Fuel_Type_from_Jan_2010.pdf
* For information on how to make greener choices that save money at home, at work and on the road, visit LiveSmart BC at www.livesmartbc.ca/
Ministry of Finance
Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect