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.

Just Posted

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Expect rolling street closures, bus delays as truck convoy moves through region Saturday

The annual Truck Light Convoy will roll through the region starting at 5:45 p.m.

UPDATED: 64-year-old Victoria man David Atkins found

Atkins was found by Sooke RCMP on Saturday morning

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Most Read