2017 – the year of the carbon tax

No matter what your stance regarding the carbon tax issue is, Jan. 1st marked its implementation. A carbon levy is now being charged on all fuels that emit greenhouse gas emissions when combusted at a rate of $20/tonne in 2017 and $30/tonne in 2018. The rate is based on the amount of carbon pollution released by the fuel when it’s combusted, not on the mass of fuel itself, the province indicates.

It seems like there is no middle ground when it comes to the new carbon tax – Albertans are either in favour, or they’re not.

The NDP government says the carbon tax is necessary as it’s the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

However, it also means increased costs to live in Alberta. Albertans are expected to see higher prices not only at the pumps, but higher prices at the grocery store, with delivery services, in household bills – the list goes on and on. As well, there is speculation that jobs will be lost because of the new carbon tax – the timing of which couldn’t be worse as Alberta has faced tough economic times for upwards of three years now.

However, a little glimmer of hope to help offset increased costs is the newly announced carbon tax rebate program for some Albertans.

The rebate program helps lower- and middle-income families adjust to the additional costs of carbon. Families will also be able to take advantage of energy-efficiency programs that will start as early as this spring.

The carbon levy rebate is expected to recycle $95 million back to Alberta households in 2016-17 and $435 million in 2017-18.

In 2017, 60% of households are expected to receive a full rebate to help offset the costs of the carbon levy. This means a single adult earning up to $47,500 per year will receive a rebate of $200 and a couple earning up to $95,000 per year will receive $300.

Parents that qualify for the rebate will receive up to an additional $30 per child (to a maximum of four).

Rebates will also increase in 2018, along with the carbon levy, to $300 for singles, $450 for couples, and $45 per child.

Albertans do not have to apply to receive the rebate, but they must file their 2015 and subsequent income tax returns to be eligible. The rebate is non-taxable and also refundable, meaning those eligible will receive it even if they pay no provincial income taxes.

In a time that Alberta still faces economic uncertainty, this is welcome news. However, only time will tell the full effects the carbon tax will have on families in our province.

Just Posted

Ivan Hlinka Tournament renamed Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Red Deer’s Servus Arena to host games in international tournament

RDC to host 2019 CCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships

The building of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre was key to RDC’s bid to the CCAA.

WATCH: Mustard Seed gets support again from PCN Women’s Fun Run

Run raised just over $20,000 last year for The Mustard Seed

Red Deer RCMP make several arrests this month

Recent arrests include the seizure of various drugs and weapons

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read