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Wednesday, January 25, 2017
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Opinion: Slaying the myths about Alberta's carbon tax
Alberta’s new carbon tax is now in effect and is naturally the focus of much debate. Amidst all of this heated discussion, there is plenty of rhetoric, hyperbole and statements that are simply not true. Here is my attempt to slay the four biggest myths about Alberta’s new carbon tax.
The first myth is that Alberta’s households will face crippling increases in the cost of living. Research from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission (which I chair) shows that Alberta’s $20-per-tonne carbon tax will raise costs by about 1.5 per cent of income for the poorest households and by 0.8 per cent for the richest households. But Alberta’s policy also includes quarterly cash rebates to six out of ten households, depending on their income. The rebates for a low-income couple with two children will be $360 per year, rising to $540 next year (when the carbon tax rises to $30 per tonne). The policy has been designed so that the net impact will be nil for the poorest households and quite small for all others.