British Columbia’s Cautionary Carbon Tax Tale

by Rob Roper

Carbon Tax advocates invariably point to British Columbia as an example of a successfully implemented program. A big part of B.C.’s alleged success is the notion that it is “revenue neutral” – new tax cuts fully offset the costs of the Carbon Tax increase. Although revenue neutrality was the case when B.C.’s Carbon Tax was originally enacted… now not so much!

The Fraser Institute recently did a study of B.C.’s Carbon Tax and discovered that in 2013/14, the first full fiscal year in which the Carbon Tax reached its top rate of 30 per tonne, the tax was no longer neutral. The B.C. government was using some smoke and mirrors accounting gimmicks (applying existing tax credits that pre-dated the Carbon Tax to the offset calculations) to make the tax appear neutral. Without those gimmicks’ the Fraser Institute reports the Carbon Tax increase for 2013/14 was really…

$226 million that year. In 2013/14 and 2014/15, the two years for which final data are available, British Columbians bore a combined $377 million net tax increase.

If the available historical data are combined with the government’s projections to 2018/19, then from 2013/14 to 2018/19, the carbon tax is projected to result in a cumulative $865 million net tax increase for British Columbians… or $728 for a family of four.

We bring this up because the Vermont Carbon Tax proposal advocated for by VPIRG and Energy Independent Vermont (EIV) does not even begin as revenue neutral – it skims 10% off the top to fund pet projects. Nevertheless, the 90% of revenue collected that is supposed to be redistributed comes with the caveat that government can, of course, find other priorities for the money. If history guides us, they surely will.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Bulmer March 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm

The Dems are salivating at the prospect of a carbon tax. All this new money and no place to spend it – YET. Not to worry, the tree huggers will find a whole laundry list of wasteful do good projects to squander the proceeds. We already soundly defeated a candidate who ran on implementing a carbon tax. Will they EVER learn. I doubt it.

Reply

Willem Post April 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

It is congenital. They cannot help themselves.
The only solution is to DE- elect more Democrats.

Reply

Mark Donka March 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm

Many of use ran and campaigned against the Carbon Tax. The Dems lied and said no one was even looking at a Carbon Tax. But McCormack and Clarkson refused to answer yes or no when asked during a debate. Now they back it. Wake up VT or pay the consequences.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

Wright Calls Out Willful Blindness on Minimum Wage

May 18, 2018 by David Flemming One of the most shocking and eye opening experiences of this legislative session was witnessing the full extent of willful ignorance on...

Bathroom Bill No Big Deal, Except It Is

May 18, 2018 by Rob Roper Come July 1st, single occupancy bathrooms in Vermont will have to be labeled in a “gender free” manner thanks to Act 127...

Roll Call! House Outlaws Single-User “Men’s” and “Ladies'” Rooms (123-19), 2018

 . H.333 AN ACT RELATING TO IDENTIFICATION OF GENDER-FREE RESTROOMS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PLACES OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION  . PASSED in the State House of Representatives on April 21,...

History Shows What the Individual Insurance Mandate Could Look Like

May 16, 2018 by John McClaughry Last Saturday the Vermont House and Senate finalized approval of a stupid and odious bill to impose a mandate on every Vermonter...

Roll Call! House Passes $5.9 Billion FY19 Budget (117-14), 2018

. H.924 – AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE SUPPORT OF GOVERNMENT  . PASSED in the State House of Representatives on May 12, 2018, by a...

Video