Carbon levy diversifies economy

Spotlight Staff

Carbon tax levies increased Jan. 1 to start the second year of the government’s made- in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and reduce emissions.

The carbon levy increased to $30 per tonne from $20 of carbon dioxide emissions, says a news release Jan. 1.

“Our government is committed to leading policy development,” Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips, and minister responsible for the Climate Change Office.

“Since 2015, our plan has supported mortgage-paying jobs, built an entirely new and long-overdue energy efficiency industry and put a meaningful dent in emissions reductions.”

She says the NDP government will continue to protect Alberta’s health, wealth and growth in 2018.

Revenue from the levy will continue to be invested through green infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, bioenergy and innovation.

From the province’s investment in Energy Efficiency Alberta, homeowners and businesses have saved more than $300 million through rebates on energy-efficient products (like programmable thermostats), home improvements (like tankless water heaters), and solar installations.

All of those programs were developed to help reduce emissions and energy bills.

In addition, $13 million has supported programs and projects, like grants for Indigenous communities, LED lighting for health facilities and highways, and solar installations for community buildings.

The Alberta government also reduced the small business tax rate, which will save business owners an estimated $175 million in 2017-18.

To help offset the costs of the carbon levy, rebates for low- and middle-income Albertans are also increasing this year.

The carbon levy rebate is estimated to give about $310 million back to Alberta households in 2017-18.

Quick facts:

-In 2018, 60 per cent of households are expected to receive a full or partial carbon levy rebate.

-A single adult earning up to $47,500 per year will receive a rebate of $300.

-A couple earning up to $95,000 per year will receive a rebate of $450.

-A couple with two children earning up to $95,000 per year will receive a rebate of $540.

-Parents that qualify for the rebate will receive up to an additional $45 per child (to a maximum of four).

-Albertans do not have to apply to receive the rebate, but must file their 2016 and subsequent income tax returns to be eligible.

-The rebate is non-taxable and also refundable, meaning Albertans will receive it even if they pay no provincial income taxes.

-Questions about an individual’s or household’s rebate or eligibility may be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which is administering the program on the province’s behalf: 1-800-959-2809.


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