Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Carbon Tax Plan to Follow Alberta Plan, Include Individual Rebates

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Federal Carbon Tax Plan to Follow Alberta Plan, Include Individual Rebates

Article excerpt

Ottawa carbon price plan coming next week

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OTTAWA - The federal government's plan to impose a carbon tax on provinces that don't do it themselves is expected to mimic the Alberta carbon program, including rebate payments sent directly to low- and middle-income individuals.

A source who has seen the plan tells The Canadian Press that the technical paper outlining Ottawa's proposal will be released next week, seven months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told provinces they'd have until 2018 to implement a price on carbon or have Ottawa do it for them.

The Alberta model applies a tax on carbon generated by burning most transportation and heating fuels, except for those used on farms. It divides the tax revenue among income-based rebates to Albertans, a cut to the small business tax and investments in green infrastructure and renewable energy.

Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna have always said any revenue from a carbon tax would remain in the province where it is raised, but they have been careful not to say it would go to the provincial government. By following the Alberta model, the federal government can send some of the money raised by the tax to individuals, bypassing provincial governments which refuse to impose their own carbon price.

Alberta's rebates are income based, with a maximum rebate this year of $200 for single adults, $300 for couples and $30 per child. The rebates rise to $300 per person, $450 for a couple and $45 per child in 2018.

About two thirds of Alberta families are eligible for at least a partial rebate. The payments are made by cheque up to four times a year and are based on income claimed on the previous year's taxes.

Alberta's carbon tax started at $20 a tonne in January and will go to $30 a tonne in 2018. Estimates suggest it raised the price of a litre of gasoline by about 4.5 cents. By 2018, a single person will pay about $400 more for gas, heat and other goods affected by the price on carbon. A couple with two kids could pay an average of $600 more.

It is expected to raise $5.4 billion between 2017 and 2019, of which $1.5 billion is going to the rebates.

An official from McKenna's office speaking on background said no final decision has yet been made about rebates. …

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