North America's First Carbon Tax

No more cruising the strip in British Columbia! It has recently become North America’s first jurisdiction to introduce a consumer based carbon tax! B.C Minister of Finance, Carole Taylor, also vowed that every cent will be returned through tax cuts and credits.

It’s a good way to keep people aware and more accountable for their environmental degradation, while keeping the economy strong. The new tax will be implemented on July 1st. The tax will initially appear at the gas pumps where consumers will be paying approximately 2.4 cents per liter.

For Prius and Smart Car drivers you’re looking at only about $20 per yer – if that. But a Chevy Avalanche? Dodge Ram? An additional $70. The tax won’t only be appearing on gas, but on all fossil fuels.

Gas, natural gas, coal, propane and even home heating. You won’t be able to BBQ or keep warm in the winter in BC without seeing these taxes come up. The tax will steadily increase over the next 4 years capping out at about 7.2 cents per liter.

At the 4 year mark the tax will be up for review to see if anything good is coming out of it. The good parts about this are that the tax is low, so that people will be able to adjust and not having something swamping them, but it will be enough (especially after 4 years) for them to think twice about just driving to the grocery store instead of walking. (You live in BC! Bike!) It has the possibility of giving people a new mindset that generating greenhouse gases actually DOES cost money! However, the problem I see in this is that there are a lot of people out there that won’t be fazed by this new tax. People are already willing to pay more and more at the pumps simply because the price is rising.

The only green they’ll be thinking about saving is their money, and if they’re well off it won’t even be an issue. Not only that but all residents will be receiving $100 in June to offset the cost of the tax. It seems a little counterproductive. If you know you’re going to, essentially, get reimbursed then why would you attempt to save money anyway?

The only thing that will see the pain of this new tax are larger corporations, and there is nothing wrong with that either. Companies will end up paying for the majority of the tax, as they use the majority of the fossil fuels, but they won’t be getting money back – the people will be. Will this be incentive for companies to turn green?