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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop donation bin runneth over

Volunteers now working toward a reopening soon with protocols in place

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Simpson staying sharp for the baseball call

Pirates’ Chemainus player scraps initial plans for Houghton College in New York

CBIA ad campaign a business booster

Great to learn more about the people serving the community

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read