Wednesday, July 01, 2009

BC Liberal gas tax goes up 50% on Canada Day!

On Canada Day all British Columbians are celebrating by paying an extra 1.2 cents per litre for gasoline and other fuels - that's a 50% increase on the existing BC Liberal government's unpopular carbon tax.

All the money collected is allegedly returned through income tax cuts - not a penny of the now 3.6 cent a litre gas tax goes to public transit, environmental improvements or anything green other than dollars.

At a time when gas prices are already rising and our economy is faltering, this ineffective and unfair gas tax increase is ridiculous. And it will keep going up every year until it hits 7.5 cents a litre.

As previously argued at this blog, the gas tax is only revenue neutral for the government at best - Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't believe Premier Gordon Campbell on that one - and not for individuals.

Those who need to drive and have no other options like public transit - in other words, almost any British Columbian outside Metro Vancouver and Victoria - will simply pay more.

Those who live in the north will pay more for their heating fuels - the carbon tax on heating fuels goes up 1.3 cents a litre today also.

If you disagree with the BC carbon tax - join over 9,000 others at my Facebook protest group.



Anonymous said...

Ya'know, until the Asper Press and Bill Boring condemn the carbon/gas tax, as "just another tax", the public will still believe that it reduces carbon emissions.

If the gas/carbon tax, were a true carbon tax, the revenue would fund transit. It ain't and it isn't.

The Evil Eye

Anonymous said...

Yep. A whooping 3.6 cents. The horror of it all. The world will soon to come an end. You need to get out more Tieleman. Although I suppose with the extra 3.6 cents you can’t afford to it. Bummer Bill. Maybe time to find some better paying work.

Anonymous said...

that's not the point 1136 the point is he's got you fooled to,tell people the truth fool,if it were going to carbon neutrality I wouldn't mind but it's not!So stop your pab drivel fool and tell us the truth on this and all other matter's related to this sham of a give away govt.

Carbon Tax Supporter said...

I support this carbon tax. I think it should be much higher to have any real impact on behavior. But for now it's a good start, mostly symbolic.

Let's also not lose perspective on the real cost of this. To fill up your SUV regularly, once per week over the next 12 months, you will be dinged a mere 50 or 60 bucks extra via this tax. That's nothing. And if you leave your car at home and walk or ride a bike to the store for that carton of milk, you're probably paying closer to 25 or 30 bucks a year. You can barely get a couple pints and a meal at the pub for that nowadays. If you want a real enemy at the pump, its global oil and gas barons, who, at the drop of a hat, seem to have no rhyme or reason to raising prices by a dime within the span of the few days.

Ask any European tourist visiting BC how much they pay for gas back home, and you'll realize just how luxurious we have it on the fuel issue. I've lived and owned a car abroad, so I speak from first-hand experience. Sweden, for example, charges way more for its carbon tax.

Bill, you look like a dinosaur on this issue, and now that Carole James has conceded, your Facebook petition amounts to an exercise in dinosaur futility.

If I sign any petition, it will be to increase the carbon tax. Climate change and peak oil are very real, and we need every little effort, even the small symbolic sorts, to get us thinking in the right direction.

I'd really like to see you redirect this wasted effort on something much more meaningful in the transit/emissions realm - such as criticism of the Gateway scheme and better urban and rural public transportation planning.

Bill Tieleman said...

I'm not a dinosaur. I drive a car fueled by dinosaurs!

Anonymous said...

If the carbon tax funded transit, the lower mainland would benefit more than the North.

G West said...

The Campbell Tax is NOT A CARBON TAX.

It is a money laundering scheme, nothing more, nothing less. Could have been designed by Tony Soprano...

It is an administratively costly and cumbersome effort to spin money from the pockets of people who can't afford it into the bank accounts of people who have too much cash now.

It will not eliminate one gram of CO2 from the atmosphere and fails to even wave at two of the biggest and dirtiest of polluters - cruise ships and airlines.

It doesn't take a single vehicle off the road; pay anyone to convert their work trucks to propane or put one more bum on transit.

Wake up people, you've been had.

Not only is the Premier's Office lying to you, people like Berman and Suzuki have lost their minds over this issue.

Step up to the bar folks all you're doing is buying a few more rounds for the Premier before the lights go out.

Otis Krayola said...

Anon 8:47

How about we just hive off the portion of the gas tax that the lower mainland coughs up and commit those funds to transit?

Sound fair?

Jeff Barkley said...

I just don't understand the ignorance surrounding this tax. We pay the tax at the pump and on our heating fuel bills, which would be acceptable, if the whole intent actually was to reduce carbon emmissions, but it isn't.

How does someone cut back on fuel use, when you have to drive to your place of work because there is no alternative available? If this tax was actually going to providing improvements of public transit throughout the province or was being used to reforest clear-cut areas, or some other needed improvements that would reduce BC's carbon footprint, I would support it 100 percent.

The problem, it seems, is the "single-minded" support of legislation named "carbon tax" by the David Suzuki's and Zeporah Berman's of the world. They used it as a "Banner" to center their political support around, believing that "simple is better" and that it would garner them lots of support and donations with a single "talking point". It was that simplistic view that opened the door to the mess we are now in. The words "carbon tax" have become a simple name for something that sounds good and useful but is not clearly defined. That provided corporations and governments with a useful vehicle that could be used to provide the public with "the feeling" that something of substance to help the environment was being done, whether that was true or not. To make matters even worse, after providing the opportunity for polluters to collect money while continuing to pollute, Suzuki and Berman actually helped the polluters win another election with their continuing defense of the now "catch-phrase" name "carbon tax". If you were against your government's legislation named "carbon tax", they were against you. Suzuki and Berman won. They managed to get the public to vote for their name, and now we can pay for tax cuts to the worst polluters, watch our wild salmon wiped out, see our rivers and streams destroyed and the futures of our young people diminished. That is the legacy of "simplistic" ideas that can easily be corrupted by those with the means and the desire. In this case, of course, those with the means and desire were the Campbell Liberals.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. If Europe pays so much more for gas, then we should be gratefull that ours is less expensive here. What about the price of gas in Iraq? Or Venezuala? Can we compare with them? It's way cheaper by the way. Now, it seems we pay to much for gas.

Not everyone drives a SUV. What it really all boiles down to is how much fuel one consumes. A small commuter car may be on the road one and a half hours each way 5 days a week. A SUV may go to the store twice a week. The real number that matters is how much gas you personally use. If you are a frequent flyer, than you use way more fuel than your share. The Olympics will bring how many people to Vancouver on planes. What a carbon producer those games are. We should cancel them immediately.

Symbolism has its place. Reality is what matters here. If the tax does nothing, then well, it is pretty well useless.

Otis Krayola said...

Anon 4:59 wrote
"If the tax does nothing, then well, it is pretty well useless."

That's the issue in a nutshell. The tax does nothing. It is designed to do nothing. 'Revenue neutral' and all. Funds collected don't go to reducing GHG emissions in any meaningful way, they just offset revenue reduction somewhere else in the budget. Everyone agrees that the levy is much too low to change the behaviour of those who have the option to change. And, as has been pointed out numerous times, it simply punishes those who don't have any option but to drive (or heat with oil).

All of this, and it lets the biggest polluters off the hook entirely.

So, 'pretty well useless' pretty much sums it up.

Anonymous said...

It was so unpopular they were given a round majority by voters after the NDP spent the entire campaign slagging the policy.

Yep, unpopular.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately no one is doing anything about it, all I hear is people are unhappy about it, but come on, if you are not happy, do something! This is why I'm so sad for people in BC, let the government run over again and again... last year we heard about this carbon tax, this year we hear about HST, who knows what else we'll pay for more tax next year?!?!?!