Monday, September 30, 2013

"Revenue neutral" carbon taxes - hollow claim

In its June budget update, the BC Government said,
"When the carbon tax was introduced, one of the key principles was that the tax would be revenue neutral – that all carbon tax revenue would be returned to individuals and businesses through reductions in other taxes and not used to fund government programs. The principle of revenue neutrality will be maintained."
How do we know the carbon tax is revenue neutral? Well, because the BC Liberals say it is. They cannot demonstrate reductions - except in corporate accounts - so the only available claim is that citizens would have faced even larger tax increases but for the carbon levies.

Let us examine numbers provided by the BC Ministry of Finance. Keep in mind that, after implementation of carbon taxes, British Columbia's population grew by 5%. If the per capita tax burden was unchanged, government revenues would have grown by a like percentage.

However, from 2009 to 2013, personal income taxes rose 11% and sales taxes were up 18%. Other revenues - including medical service fees, licenses, education fees and miscellaneous - increased 19%.

There were some beneficiaries in the revenue neutral game. Natural resource revenues dropped 35% and corporate income taxes dipped by 4%.

$3.7 billion in carbon taxes since 2009 didn't stop revenues from medical services plan premiums rising 28% in four years. Nor did it stop the upward push on transit taxes, BC Hydro rates and ICBC premiums.

The obvious truth is that carbon taxes enabled the BC Liberals to reduce corporate income taxes and eliminate royalties once paid by natural gas producers.
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  1. A true carbon tax, uses the carbon tax revenue to fund carbon reducing initiatives, mainly public transit, thus reducing carbon emissions. In BC, this did not happen, as carbon tax revenue went straight into general revenue.

    The BC Liberal carbon tax was a sham and a straight gas tax, sold by a Liberal acolyte professor from SFU, given free access to public via the mainstream media. In fact, it seems SFU professors have done very well by the BC Liberals and the University is a sink hole of perverse Lysenkoism.

    Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.

    BC has become a haven for the wealthy who live off the backs of the poor, with their taxes reduced, with income coming from tools and user fees that tax to death the poor.

    Again, the mainstream media, lap dogs of the BC Liberals do not report the truth and are collectively, Quisling's, Lord Ha Ha's and Tokyo Rose's, where the truth is twisted and reshaped into Liberal speak, as George Orwell had predicted.

    1. Well I do recall the Greens supporting this revenue neutral carbon tax and still do. Lizzie said on a CBC interview on Power and Politics that Mulcair was wrong when he said these taxes are not progressive and she disagreed quite forcefully. The Greens do not get socialism at all and take many of their policies out of the Fraser Institute.

  2. One thing I'd like to point out about our income tax system that many people may not realize, is that if you get a 1% increase in income, the income tax that you pay goes up by more than 1%, all else being equal. This is because additional income is paid at your marginal rate, which is higher than your average rate. This is best seen by looking at someone who is a low income earner and an increase in income raises them above the threshhold level for paying income tax. They go from paying $0 to some small amount, which is an infinite increase in their income tax rate.

    So on a percentage basis, the biggest winners in your annual pay raise (if you are lucky enough to get one) are the federal and provincial governments.

  3. Not sure if you read Eric Reguly's piece in the Globe on this subject. Of all the writers in the Globe's 'Business' section I find he's usually the best. However, on this subject, he's swallowed the party line AND he quotes the same highly conjectural study from Ontario to 'prove' his point.

    I hope you'll take the time to contact him and bring your work to his attention Norm.

    Thanks, as always

    James King, Victoria

  4. It seems CC just can't stop helping out the world and at the same time avoiding BC. From the G&M " Ms. Clark is promoting something different than products from Alberta’s oil sands. She is hoping B.C.’s leadership around the carbon tax will help open doors at a time that the Obama administration is pushing a climate-change agenda. “I want to get them interested in what we are doing from a climate-change perspective, and also to make sure they understand the scope of this."

    Just what Americans are waiting for.... more taxes.

    And then it's off to Asia..... you see the problems there are much bigger & CC needs to fix them so she can come back to BC & tell everyone about all the new jobs she's returning with. Just like her last trip..... that also included contracts that were signed well before she boarded the plane..... and without her help. Go figure.

    Guy in Victoria

    1. "Leadership around the carbon tax" is truly a joke and any media property that allows the claim without challenge is also a joke.

      BC ships massive amounts of coal to be burned in the dirty old mills of Asia and now, under BC Liberal "leadership" on carbon management, they aim to encourage vast new gas production. That will require gas fired generators for electricity needed to run giant refrigeration plants.

      There are many dangers associated with gas production and methane leakage is but one of those. BC has no capability, and no intention of having the capability, to provide effective regulation and industry oversight. Following the Harper government lead, the won't hire scientists and inspectors, they'll hire public relations flacks and advertising agencies to sing the praises of the work they're not performing.

      Perfect evidence of the intention to allow industry to "self-regulate" was the hiring of Fazil Mihlar as ADM in the gas promotion industry. I covered him in the article: When regulators don't believe in regulation

  5. The great "con" game flourishes in this province. Once "Corpratism" reared its ugly head in this province, the hucksters came out of the woodwork. The elitists pay as little as possible while governments especially the BC Liebrals, support there "friends" and supporters by fleecing the middle class, and enriching the upper class.

    This is the new malaise or disease of the 21st century. The disease will ultimately destroy the middle class, and reduce all taxpayers to "indentured servitude."

    Self regulation does not work, appointing closet kleptocrats to oversee an obvious taxpayer"con", fostered on the belief that we are helping the planet, is sheer farce.

    Folks in this province and indeed this country have to wake up, something has to be done to "cure" this disease...



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