Second carbon tax would hurt small business: CFIB

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Second carbon tax would hurt small business: CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says a proposed new regional carbon tax to pay for the Metro Vancouver mayor’s 10 year transit plan is a bad idea.

Executive Vice President Laura Jones says any new taxes will hurt small business, and would likely encourage drivers to head south to fill up for gas.

“While you’re down there you may do some other shopping as well, and businesses are already challenged by cross border shopping, anything that makes that worse is not going to be welcome news.”

Jones says municipalities need to get their own budgets under control before asking for more tax power.

“I think the local level of government needs to do a much better job of controlling its costs before they hold out their hands for more money. We’ve done study after study where we show at the local level, they are way outspending what population and inflation suggests would be reasonable.”

Meanwhile economist Charles Lammam with the Fraser Institute says a proposed second carbon tax would have negative economic consequences.
“Not only would it likely encourage more cross border shopping, because a lot of the differentials are driven by the taxes we pay here in the province, but I think it will also discourage production, it’s going to discourage businesses from setting up operations, from investing in the province, and ultimately from creating jobs.”
Lammam says the only way the policy would make sense is if the province reduces other taxes to make it revenue neutral.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says a new regional carbon tax will be complex and costly to administer, and people would need to vote on it through a referendum.


  1. This is why they want to toll the bridges. They realize that their gas taxes are only driving people to buy more gas efficient cars and to get their gas from another jurisdiction. Have they also planned for the loss of income from the bridges when people start to change their lifestyles to avoid bridge tolls? Or will they just look to make another tax?

    It looks like we have hit the wall. People don’t want to pay any more taxes to cover the costs of gold plated government jobs

  2. If The GVRD , needs more money Than get some of these Millionairs that inhabit the province and or just buy up all the rentle properties , and gouges the public for a juicy profit , Let them pay a tax on all that money they make . instead of abuseing the general public into paying four their pie in the sky ideas .

    • George: You just don’t get it do you? These “millionaires” you are talking about can do something very easily; something most of us tax-cash cows can’t do so easily. They can move. You tax them too much and eventually they go to where tax rates are lower (taking their wealth with them).

      If they own businesses and move – we lose employment – the government loses revenue – and, in order to support their waste and mismanagement, the government passes the lost revenues on to the rest of us in higher taxes, user fees, etc.

      If you tax their businesses and they stay; the businesses don’t absorb the costs. Most businesses are struggling and already seeing their profit margins disappearing as a result of government; so they have to pass the tax on to us, the consumer, in higher prices. Reducing profit margins means businesses have less money to hire people. Higher prices encourage consumers to go cross-border shopping or simply not to spend their money. Under this scenario, you especially hurt the small and medium sized business. In our current economy many of these ‘small’ businesses have already closed shop due to current economy killing, government policies.

      The most successful option is (and has repeatedly proven to be) to cut the size and cost of government; to have the bureaucracies get out of our wallets so we can decide how OUR more money is spent. This promotes business activity and the economy thrives. Result: more employment – happier and freer people – and surprisingly, more revenues for government.

      You really should start educating yourself instead of just spouting the words of the unhappy or blissfully ignorant Progressives that have been indoctrinating you in a failed philosophy. May I suggest you read information provided by groups like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the CFIB and Fraser Institute (and others) for information? After reading your comment, sadly, you look like a product of a failing, Progressive education system.

    • Well said. The Unions, and I mean all the unions have raped this province. We will soon be like some of the cities and States in the United States. They just don’t get it. NO MORE TAXES. The unions are the greedy ones. They don’t care where it comes from as long as it lands in their wallet. The teachers want a raise plus cost of living? Many in the private sector do not even get cost of living! How can they keep paying more taxes?

      • Rose, if your looking at which group has benefited from the resources of this province, it is fair that you also look to which non unions have received financial benefits, directly or indirectly. Singling out unions, and specifically teachers, approaches fairness from a limited horizon.

        I’m thinking of expenditures like BC Place, Sea to Sky Highway, monopoly for private liquor licencees, not to mention the outrageous benefit package paid to departed BC Ferry executive, Mr. Hahn – and the list of examples goes on.

        Skuller makes good points, and I concur with his analysis but add that 3rd world countries are characterized by a non educated public. Western democracies have succeed due to their investment in public education. This needs to be understood, appreciated, and internalized. An erosion of public education, will eventually undermine our economy as students are incapable of competing with the influx of brilliance from Asia.

        In short, don’t support the teachers, but recognize the importance of public education to our future economy.

    • Tax on gas is a user pay model vs tax on plate which is a flat fee structure. Some will argue the more you use the roads the more you should pay, so tax on fuel makes sense – but that only works if there is no other choice to buy fuel. Others will argue tax on plate removes the ability to bypass or avoid fuel taxes but adds an extraordinary share of the cost to those who seldom use the roads.
      If CBSA followed the guidelines in place, a significant amount of cross border shopping would stop or be drastically reduced. Yes the lineups would be long for a week or two until the message got out that GST, PST, duty and LDB markup will be assessed as appropriate

    • How much is good to charge patrons of transit? Make it big and stop the horse right in it’s tracks, but you will get more people driving and many people that use transit still drive cars.Up the ticket price and you will need a third new bridge!

    • I agree that any carbon tax is a money grab, and secondly the revenues collected are NOT in any way addressing climate change what so ever.

      The carbon tax should be abolished.

  3. I agree Laura…

    It’s high time that ALL levels of government come to the realization that the way this country is being run is no longer sustainable. Governments have become completely unsustainable. This “make work project” called “government” has created so many bureaucratic levels that it’s pretty much impossible to know who’s doing what and why.

    There are so many people living off of the taxpayer teat and they are always demanding more more more that the implosion is imminent. And then what?

    Does Greece or Detroit ring any bells for anyone?

    • You have hit the nail on the head. The economists have been saying that for a long time. We are heading for bankruptcy but the greedy ones out there just don’t care. Wait till all these gold plated pensions get washed away. They still won’t get it. They will all be wondering what happened.

  4. How about a regional 1% sales tax it would raise a billion dollars a year and would only be putting back 1/2 of the sales tax remove in 2001. So it would technically be reinstating an old tax.
    Everyone would pay it not just drivers.

    • Good idea, howard, but the Governments (all levels) must quit spending all their time trying to figure out “painless” ways of getting money out of us. How about they spend a little time trying to get their fiscal house in order ? Just the Provincial debt servicing sets us back $2 Billion every January 2nd ! (January 1st is a holiday and banks aren’t open). There’s our Transit money right there.

  5. I echo what many of you here are saying…….the taxpayer has had enough of taxes, fees and tolls, hidden or otherwise.
    All levels of government need to start living within their means, and start cutting the fat, starting at the municipal level and on up.
    The taxpayer funded well is dry.

    • You mean it’s dry for your entitled and elitist crowd that tires of paying, try to live on a fixed income and still pay! I hope the Country goes bankrupt it will show us all once and for all you can’t blame the NDP for this failure.

    • Politicians think their vote buying priorities are more important than taxpayers RIGHT to our hard earned wages. They tend to forget who voted them into their office, who’s paying their wages, don’t they?

  6. Most of the MLAs and MPs are strangers , and do not represent all men , but only the minority , or small group of insiders , who are all ways getting the extra , where as normaly the working Joe , a part of another manorty gets nothing . Sounds like discrimination to me .