As part of the new tax plan, carbon-based fuels — including gasoline, diesel, natural gas and home heating fuel — will be taxed at $10/tonne of greenhouse gases generated, starting July 1, 2008.
That will translate into a new 2.4 ¢/litre tax on gasoline at the pump and 2.8 ¢/litre for home heating fuel.
The carbon tax rate will rise by $5 a year for the next four years, until it hits $30/tonne of greenhouse gas generated in 2012, said Taylor.
The tax will earn the government an estimated $1.85 billion, but Taylor said the plan will be revenue neutral. The government will give all of the money back to taxpayers in the form of tax breaks, she said.
Income tax rates for the first $70,000 earned will be cut by five per cent in 2009, giving B.C. the lowest personal income tax rate in Canada for those earning under $111,000.
The corporations' tax rate will also be cut one per cent to 11 per cent in 2009, and 10 per cent in three years, making B.C.'s corporate tax rates on par with the lowest in Canada.
In total, businesses in B.C. will pay a total tax rate of 25 per cent when federal and provincial taxes are combined, making B.C.'s corporate tax rate 10 per cent lower than the U.S. average, said Taylor.
She also said that in the first year there will be $100 rebate to every adult and child in the province to offset the cost of the carbon tax.
The British Columbia plan provides an incentive for people to cut their own carbon footprint. Under this carrot and stick approach, if you can lower your own emissions, through efficiency or upgrades, you will not be burdened by the carbon tax- you can neutralize the fiscal impact. On the other side, traditional taxes are lowered, which means conservation could translate to a lower overall tax burden. Also, by reducing personal and corporate taxes, there is fiscal room to make improvements, more money available to "upgrade".
The gas guzzling, fuel wasting, leaving the heat up all day while at work, monster home dwelling, environmental parasite, pays through the nose, while the conscientious person who makes an effort sees a reward. Sounds like progress from here, and we now have a concrete provincial plan which nicely contrasts the Conservatives excuses.