Graph shows all provincial taxes as they would apply to a medium-sized facility producing 12 million tonnes of LNG per year

LNG tax drops in softer gas market

B.C. government scales down tax plan as Asian gas market slows down, Russia sells to China and oil prices decline

VICTORIA – Liquefied natural gas producers are being asked to pay a new tax of 3.5 per cent on their profits for the first 20 years of operation in B.C., after deducting their startup costs.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled the LNG tax system Tuesday, describing it as lower in total taxes and royalties than existing and proposed LNG export facilities in Australia, Alaska, Oregon and other U.S. states that are B.C.’s main competitors.

De Jong said B.C. scaled back its plan to charge up to seven per cent in the face of declining gas market conditions, including slower growth in China and its new long-term deal to buy pipeline gas from Russia. Japan is also considering restarting its nuclear power program after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, and oil prices have declined in recent months.

Under the B.C. plan, a single medium-sized LNG plant on the B.C. coast would pay about $800 million a year in total provincial taxes after a three-year construction period. That includes the new LNG tax, royalties on gas produced in B.C., carbon tax, provincial sales tax and corporate income tax.

“That’s more than we got from the whole forest sector this year,” de Jong said.

There are currently 18 proposals for LNG plants in B.C., ranging from small to those twice the size of the finance ministry’s medium-plant example. One of the largest is LNG Canada, a consortium of Shell, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Korea Gas to build a pipeline and export terminal at Kitimat.

LNG Canada issued a statement Tuesday saying it will continue to work on its B.C. plan.

“There is much more work to do prior to a final investment decision for LNG Canada and we will continue working with First Nations and local communities, as well as municipal, provincial and federal governments,” it said.

De Jong said the B.C. Liberal election promise to pay off the province’s debt with LNG revenues remains possible, but it will take longer than earlier estimates. A single medium-sized is worth $8 billion in revenues over a 10-year period of full operation.

NDP natural gas critic Bruce Ralston said the government had to slash its tax plan after it hyped the LNG revenue windfall to voters in the 2013 election campaign. That put B.C. in a weaker negotiating position with international investors, Ralston said.

The new tax takes effect in 2017, with an effective rate of 1.5 per cent for three years as companies construct LNG plants. Only one or two small facilities are expected to be ready by then. The rate rises to 3.5 per cent on net income after capital costs are deducted, and to five per cent effective 2037.

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

Just Posted

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

COVID-19: B.C. church services resume with public health limits

Maximum 50 in large spaces, Premier John Horgan says

Chilliwack school board censures trustee Barry Neufeld after controversial Facebook post

Board chair issues statement on censure but little else regarding Facebook post controversy

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

Twenty-nine of Canada’s 48 national parks to reopen to day-use visitors June 1

All national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas have been closed for weeks

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Most Read