Friday, July 21, 2017

Tax on a tax remains

By Kate Bouey - CASTANET Jul 21, 2017 / 5:00 am

A local politician's effort to end a federal tax on B.C.'s carbon tax has come to naught. Vernon city councillor Bob Spiers launched a parliamentary e-petition, garnering 1,596 signatures from across the country between January and May, in a bid to get the matter before the House of Commons. And get there it did.

In May, North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold presented the e-petition to the Commons, forcing the government to respond. “Pricing carbon pollution is a central component of the pan-Canadian framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change that was announced by Canada’s first ministers in December 2016,” said a statement issued by Liberal MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor on behalf of the finance minister this week. “The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution will expand the application of carbon pricing, already in place in Canada’s four largest provinces, to the rest of Canada by 2018.”

In other words, once the other provinces impose the carbon tax on sales of gasoline and home heating fuel, that will be taxed by Ottawa, too. In B.C. and Alberta alone, the federal government stands to raise as much as $280 million in GST revenue off provincial carbon taxes in the next two years, despite claims carbon taxes would be revenue neutral for Ottawa, according to a report. “The previous government didn't address it, and now all the provinces could be saddled with this carbon tax and the GST,” said Spiers.

Spiers said his last hope is in a private member's bill, which is expected to get second g when the Commons returns after the summer break, although he is doubtful that will pass.
Feds Won’t Drop GST On Carbon Tax
Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre July 21, 2017 06:52 am
The federal government has rejected Vernon city councillor Bob Spiers’ attempt to drop the GST from the carbon tax.
"Whatever model a province chooses,
 Trudeau said, it will be revenue neutral
 for the federal government, with
any revenues generated
 under the system staying
 in the province or territory
where they are generated."
His online petition received one thousand 596 signatures. The government says on its website that pricing carbon pollution is a central component of the pan-Canadian framework on Clean growth and Climate Change. It goes on to suggest that other provinces will also see the GST applied once they implement a carbon tax.“Very disappointed but it wasn’t unexpected. They’ve been doing it for eight years.” Spiers says he hoped the government would see the reasoning behind it, especially since the Prime Minister has said all the revenue from the carbon tax would remain in the province in which it’s collected. “Again, fighting this one since 2008 I guess. But that is the response and that ends that portion of the thing.” Spiers notes a private member’s on the same proposal goes up for 2nd reading in the Commons in the fall.He doesn’t expect that to go anywhere.

Spiers says he might start a campaign to dump the carbon tax on home heating fuel.“If it was removed from there, therefore the GST would also be removed on the federal level because there wouldn’t be any carbon tax on your bill when it came in from Fortis.” He admits that’s probably a pipe dream. Spiers says he thinks what’s really stupid is there’s a carbon tax on cremation. ” Talk about death and taxes.” North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold tabled the petition in the House of Commons on behalf of Spiers.

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