City councillors are expecting details to be released shortly on the province’s carbon tax, which will cost Edmonton $10 million over the next two years. The carbon tax that is being brought in by the Notley government will increase energy costs by $20 a tonne starting New Year’s Day, and will jump to $30 a tonne in 2018.
The breakdown for Edmonton was pegged in April as $4 million next year, and another $6 million the year after on necessary products like gasoline, diesel and natural gas.
“It’s going to be obviously added somewhere to the tax roll or to other efficiencies in the city and hopefully it doesn’t affect any programs that we have in place now,” said Coun. Tony Caterina.
“There’s many many dozens of projects that could use a small portion of that, that we could actually get started. So there’s going to be some angst about either paying it to the province or we could use that money to do some good work right here in the City of Edmonton.”
Caterina would like to see it delayed, however Premier Rachel Notley has held firm in having all energy users pay the carbon tax, to help fund initiatives to reduce Alberta’s carbon foot print.
“In my opinion 2016 certainly hasn’t been a great year economic wise,” Caterina said. “A lot of people are hurting. This is just something that might not have been necessary this year or even next year.”
“This just sort of compounds when you start adding everything up together, and I think it’ll probably end up to being that something will have to be lost in order to pay for this carbon tax implementation.”
In April, council agreed to spend $1.3 million this year, and $2 million in 2017 to have the city prepare programs to help reduce green house gas emissions.