Carbon tax, climate action tax credit both rise July 1


VICTORIA – 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.