Monday, October 13, 2008

First cracks in BCs carbon tax

The unpopularity of British Columbia's carbon tax helped boost the opposition NDP above the ruling Liberals in the polls for the first time in years. With an election date on the horizon, the premier hit the panic button.

The premier first cut carbon taxes to municipalities – a not-so-subtle admission the tax was never revenue neutral for families. The carbon tax will increase property taxes because any increase in costs flow through to property owners.

But expect property taxes to go up anyway because the premier expects municipalities to become carbon neutral by 2012. This means more municipal bureaucrats and higher building and vehicle costs as municipalities try to comply with the premier's whims.

The premier may believe in the righteousness of his carbon tax; but he believes in staying in government even more. Don’t be surprised to see more municipal-like exemptions, but with the same hidden costs. Instead of trying to have it both ways, the premier needs to get rid of the carbon tax.

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