Reductions a taxing issue
Re: Regressive tax cons the poor, Feb. 21 letters.
Letter-writer J. Edwards says that the sole purpose of the carbon tax is to provide government revenue. Any tax provides revenue. The carbon tax has the added benefit of discouraging the use of fossil fuels.
Drastic cutbacks of fossil-fuel use are needed. A substantial carbon tax is the only way to make it happen.
The problem is not B.C.’s carbon tax, but the way in which compensating reductions were done.
As Edwards said, the poor got poorer. The tax should be made revenue neutral to all income groups, especially the poor.
The tax increases the cost of not only gasoline, but of all fossil fuels and all products that need them for production and distribution. Increased sales tax credits are needed to compensate low-income people who pay little or no income tax.
Other compensating factors could be lower MSP premiums, higher non-refundable tax credits and lower sales tax.
Municipalities and school boards could be compensated by more cash from the government.
After all the numbers are crunched, some percentage reduction of income tax would probably turn out to be appropriate as well.
All of the increased revenue should be spent on these compensating reductions rather than on green projects. The extra cost of fuel should be enough that green projects would be paid for by savings and profits. Increases in carbon tax should be gradual to allow time for people to adapt.
A wealthy person who heats and air conditions a 10,000-square-foot home, or burns 2,000 gallons per day of diesel fuel in a yacht, would end up paying more.
These changes should eliminate the problems that Edwards pointed out.
Bill McConnell, Surrey