Happy Carbon Tax Day!

It’s kind of clever – diabolical even. Pick the one day everyone is outdoors walking around, pondering a hot dog and looking for the best spot to see fireworks, to launch the new provincial carbon tax on fuel sales! Brilliant! Oh sure, they’ll complain tomorrow, but day one will be buried under red and white flags, explosions in the sky, and photos of tots with ice-cream all over their faces (they may optionally also be looking at fireworks while holding tiny paper Canadian Flags.)

What does this mean to you? Do you have a car? If you’ve answered no, it means little to you, though in theory over time the tax will lessen personal and business taxes – time will tell on that. If you’ve answered yes, then it means from this day forward, you’re paying 2.4 cents per litre more for petrol – and that will increase another five and quarter cents per over the next four years, on top of wherever the price of oil takes us in the coming months.

Never has a hybrid looked so good, and the ZENN and Volt can’t go on sale fast enough! Save the petroleum for vital K-Way production, I say.

4 Comments so far

  1. dwainj on July 2nd, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

    In good ‘ol Vancouver fashion – they actually raised prices by 4+ cents..
    Mark-up?? I thought it was 2.4 cents.

    My vent on the carbon tax ripoff here..

  2. jeantalon on July 3rd, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

    My initial thought about this carbon tax was negative as well. However, I looked at the $100 cheque they sent to both me and my carpool buddy amd broke it down.

    My Mazda3 tanks up at about $67.50 for 45 litres (when filling up just before the gas light comes on) at today’s prices. Let’s say the tax adds on a consistent 4 cents per litre. This adds 45*0.04=$1.80 a tank. My $100 tax break covers 100/1.80=55.5 tanks to break even.

    So at slightly more than one tank per week over a year (which is an awful lot of driving for me), I’d break even on the carbon tax, leaving me to pay the regular increase in gas prices, without counting the tax. Now I realize that lots of people have larger tanks and longer distances to commute. I currently park and ride as well, so I’m saving most of my otherwise commuting gas. However, the net effect is that I, as a conservative gas burner, am basically not taxed while the heavy burner is taxed.

    This means that if the goal of the tax is to lean more towards a user-pay philosophy, above the minimum covered by the tax refund, it actually makes sense to help reduce the consumption of gas — because I don’t have to pay for the burden of excessive users. Gas prices in general will rise with increased demand (of course, Vancouver doesn’t dent the world price of oil, nor does Canada overall compared to the US and other countries). However, the principal is sound because it puts the burden back on heavy users and gives light users an incentive to continue light or reduce (albeit a very small incentive).

    If the US implemented a similar carbon tax at the federal level, this would do some good towards reducing demand, and therefore prices after some time. Current taxation doesn’t provide an incentive to reduce usage. If you look at the whole subprime mortgage debacle, it was basically driven by cheap financing for houses and people who couldn’t afford the houses borrowing cheap money to buy them. If money was a lot more expensive to borrow, many of those loans wouldn’t have been made, and the current mess would be less messy. The gas thing works about the same way — make it more expensive and people will think before using more. This will already help prices a bit, but the larger issue is global warming. I don’t think taxation could help that issue much.

    Stations adding more margin just because of an expected tax increase are gouging. It’s immoral and basically amounts to stealing.

  3. castewar on July 3rd, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

    That’s a good breakdown – I guess I approach it from a broader perspective. To me, what you say makes perfect sense, I just want to jump to the part later on where people go "screw this noise" and switch to, at the very least, a more fuel efficient car.

    There’s a truck on a small used car lot on Broadway – it’s a monster. I can’t imagine who would need a truck like that outside of someone involved in construction or hauling giant truckloads of heavy things. And yet this thing is pristine – the last owner just wanted a big truck. I should post a picture. It’s a terrible beauty.

    Electric intra-city! Hybrid inter-city! Bring back Via! K-Way jackets for all!

    Sorry… got carried away.

    Thanks for commenting on my first post guys!

  4. jeantalon on July 4th, 2008 @ 10:39 am

    Yeah. I look at Ford making more F-150 trucks and I’m wondering who’s buying.

    Regarding hybrids, I like the Prius concept as much as the next conscious citizen, but I wonder how much carbon consumption goes into building one of those things. The steel, the glass, transporting it, etc… There’s got to be some kind of break-even point where you have to drive the Prius for a certain number of kilometers before you make up for the extra emissions produced in manufacturing the car versus buying a small, used Toyota Echo or some other fuel efficient car in the used pool.

    Hey, on a more local topic, here’s something we could start on transit to save trees:

    Hand your copy of 24 to a boarding passenger on your way off the skytrain. Students who thank their bus drivers on the way off will jump onto that one right away. The re-use of today’s newspaper that everyone ditches could save a whole pile of newsprint. I’ve seen the inventory stack they hand off to the newsies — they must amount to two or three trees a day all-in for the city.

    Anyway, just an idea. Torch over to you.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.