Carbon tax to cost city $100,000 in 2017

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City of Airdrie officials say the NDP government’s carbon tax, which takes effect Jan. 1, will cost the municipality approximately $100,000 in 2017 and $150,000 in 2018.

Shannon Schindeler, manager of treasury and utility administration for the City of Airdrie, said that money will be paid for completely through property taxes.

A carbon tax will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per tonne in Alberta in 2017 and $30 per tonne in 2018.

Provincial officials say it will cost the average Albertan $191 in 2017 and $286 in 2018.

However, Albertans with low incomes will be provided with rebates up to $200 in 2017 and up to $300 in 2018.

Full rebates will be provided to single Albertans who earn less than $47,500 a year or couples and families who earn less than $95,000 a year.

An additional six per cent of households will receive partial rebates. Rebates exceeding $200 will be received in more than one payment.

Provincial officials say the revenue from the tax will be invested towards combating climate change using energy efficiency programming.

According to the province, the carbon tax is expected to raise $9.6 billion over the next five years.

Schindeler said the City of Airdrie owns 26 municipal buildings and 200 vehicles.

Approximately $75,000 of the $100,000 cost in 2017 relates to the cost of natural gas for the buildings, while the other estimated $25,000 relates to fuel for the vehicles, she said.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty about how the provincial carbon levy will affect indirect costs,” Schindeler said. “The province has stated municipalities will not be eligible for any carbon levy exemptions.”

The federal government is also planning to implement a carbon price of $10 per tonne in 2018, reaching $50 per tonne by 2022.

Blake Richards, Conservative MP for Banff-Airdrie, said the federal carbon tax would cost the average Canadian family more than $2,500 a year.

He said he believes the government should be focusing on lowering taxes rather than implementing a carbon tax.

Many local business owners have also said they are against the carbon tax and hundreds of people gathered near the Airdrie Co-op Nov. 5 as part of a province-wide rally against the tax.

Airdrie was one of 12 locations across the province to participate.

For more information regarding the provincial carbon tax, visit alberta.ca/climate-carbon-pricing.aspx.

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