When British Columbia’s carbon pricing policy was announced, the federal government made a big deal about it being revenue-neutral. The idea was to impose the carbon pricing plan on one hand and equivalently reduce the income and corporate taxes on the other hand. When Justin Trudeau and his Liberals came to power, he wanted to uphold his end of the bargain.
But it hasn’t happened yet. The people of British Columbia are not just paying the carbon tax alone. They’re also paying an additional Goods and Services Tax on the carbon tax. Yes, you read that right. BC citizens are paying a GST tax on another tax.
Spiers’s campaign against BC taxation
The charge against the government’s taxation policies in British Columbia has been taken up by a city councilor, Bob Spiers. He is speaking out against the government policies and leading a movement to abolish the tax on tax in BC.
“The feds are putting the carbon tax right across Canada,” says Spears, “It dawned on me…here’s another chance to warn everyone in Canada that there’s a heck of a lot of money going back to Ottawa.”
Spiers is currently promoting a public petition against the government’s actions. The petition secured more than 300 signatures in the first 24 hours and needs 200 more before the government has to respond.
Deconstructing the carbon tax scheme
The people need to understand how the government receives additional revenue on the price. So it’s important to analyze how the GST and the carbon pricing intersect and interact.
Let’s say you refill your gas tank at a BC gas station. You’ll need to pay a carbon tax on the price of gas you consume. But that’s not it. You also need to pay a GST on the whole thing as well. But the whole thing includes the carbon price as well. To put it into the larger context, according to Spiers’ calculations, the federal government generated around $63 million on top of the billion dollars BC citizens paid as carbon tax.
Who will account for that?