Monday, September 17, 2007

Threat of higher gas taxes to pay for ghg programs in BC

In BC, the government consults with the public to get our input on what budget priorities should be for the following year. This year, the BC government will be asking what sacrifices we will be willing to make to reduce man-made greenhouse gases. One of those sacrifices includes paying higher gasoline taxes.

We all care about the environment, but meaningful greenhouse gas, and pollution, reductions come with economic efficiency, which will drive technological advancements: not taxing energy and giving government handouts to for-profit businesses. If governments were concerned about the environment, they might consider pollution that impacts human health, including sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and water turbidity.

Priorities for next year's budget should be debt reduction, tax reform, and health care reform. The first priority in the next budget should be legislated debt reduction. We are currently making interest payments of $6 million per day to service the debt. Alberta legislated a debt reduction plan in the 1990s and now -- essentially debt free -- is able to spend the money it used to spend on interest payments to lower taxes and for other programs. B.C.’s large and unanticipated surpluses are an opportunity to pay off our debt. Instead, incredibly, the government is talking about raising gasoline taxes!

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