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

FILOMI Days sees massive crowd arrive in town to enjoy weekend festivities

The North Island Gazette was at just about every event this weekend.

Rumble on the Runway returns to Port McNeill Airport

In fact, the event is so popular that officials say it is usually sold out months in advance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Fireweed in full bloom

“This year is shaping up to be a good year for fireweed.”

Tahsis Inlet voted BC’S top boating destination for 2019

Tahsis Inlet is located midway up the west coast of Vancouver Island

Oceanfront RV campground in Port Alice is open for business

Anstee plans to have other amenities besides camping, “but for now, this is it.”

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Most Read