Surprise, surprise! Ontario’s carbon-tax stickers only tell part of the story ~ Patrick Flanagan

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The Ontario government wants gas station operators to display their carbon-tax stickers by August 30. The government ‘for the people’ will use our tax dollars not only to produce and distribute the stickers, but also to enforce compliance and fight the court challenges that are expected to arise.

In the interest of transparency, the stickers will show that the carbon tax is scheduled to increase by 2.2 cents each year from 4.4 cents in 2019 to 11 cents in 2022. The stickers will not make any reference to the carbon tax rebate program, under which most of the carbon tax is refunded to Ontario taxpayers through tax credits.

If the Ontario government was serious about transparency, it would show that the price of a litre of gasoline in Ontario also includes a federal excise tax of 10.0 cents, a provincial fuel tax of 14.7 cents and the 13 per cent HST. If the pump price is $1.20, the HST would be 13.8 cents, of which 5.3 cents goes to the federal government and 8.5 cents goes to the provincial government.

In summary, assuming a pump price of $1.20, the tax per litre is:

Federal
4.4 + 10.0 + 5.3 = 19.7 cents

Provincial
14.7 + 8.5 = 23.2 cents

Total Tax = 42.9 cents

If we are concerned about the amount of tax on gasoline, should we focus on the 4.4 cents, which is subject to rebate, or on the other non-rebatable 38.5 cents?

A few days ago, the price of gas in this area went down by about 6 cents, and the change went largely unnoticed. But a carbon tax of 4.4 cents, and future increases of 2.2 cents each year, are disasters that should be fought with a major taxpayer-funded campaign?

Patrick Flanagan is a retired actuary, currently enjoying life in the Huntsville area.

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10 Comments

  1. It’s not so much the 4.4 cents on a liter of gas at the pump it’s the 4.4 cents on every liter of propane i use to heat my home that upsets me no need to tax that any more than it’s taxed already.

  2. It is alarming to see the short-sightedness of many of Ontario’s citizens who, with encouragement from a biased, unethical Canadian media from which they choose to form their political opinions, continue to look for a basis to hate and actually fight against Premier Ford as he meets the challenge head-on of resurrecting our province from the financial devastation of the outright criminal Liberal rule under Wynne and McGuinty.
    This committed premier has pledged to use every tool at his disposal to fight against this fraudulent, money grabbing, Justin Trudeau carbon tax on our behalf, most significantly through the courts. The stickers are simply a strategy to bring awareness of the damaging effects to Ontario of this carbon tax to those citizens who can’t be bothered and aren’t responsible enough to inform themselves. Premier Ford recognizes the negative effect of this tax on Ontario’s economy, health care, on the business environment of our province which he is trying to reestablish, and on its citizens.
    Premier Ford correctly warns that the Trudeau carbon tax could plunge Canada into a recession, and yet he is unbelievably criticized by some leftist economists and elites. The threat of a carbon tax recession is real. The cost of goods that are made, farmed + transported in Ontario will go up with a carbon tax. The carbon tax will increase the cost of propane, aviation fuel, butane, the cost of our home heating bills, and more. The GST/HST will, of course, be calculated on the total price for all these goods and services which now will have a higher price due to the carbon tax. The price will be paid by Ontarians. Ford is also correct to be warning Canadians, that it is significant to recognize that there are more and more signs of Canada’s economic fragility and weakness. With Canadians already facing a massive household debt burden, with the economy slowing, and with wage growth falling, a carbon tax is the last thing our vulnerable economy needs.

  3. Very sharp, balanced, analysis. Regrettably, I am afraid that Robbie Burns, renowned poet laureate of Scotland has exposed the problem with the following insight ~
    “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.”
    The Celebrated Bard was probably the first to describe “cognitive dissonance”, which in my view applies to much of the discussion surrounding climate change. I.e. our beliefs are resolutely held independent of facts. Highly regrettable.

  4. Brian Tapley on

    I suppose that given the assumption that decreased Carbon Dioxide emissions are Supposed to help delay Climate Change then a tax on Carbon based fuels might force customers to reduce consumption.

    I think Clarity of all the taxes would be a step in the right direction and this we do not get from our government! I’d like to see a clear, simple and audited accounting of this tax and the others already imposed on fuels to show how much it is, where it comes from, where it is being rebated from, the net amount, the costs to administrate and finally what the net was spent upon to help reduce our impact.
    A cute short life time sticker for a few gas pumps that only tells part of the story is not my idea of a successful effort in this regard. If the government was a grade 5 student and came up with this idea, I’d fail them!

    I also wonder, when I look at the vastly over powered vehicles the auto companies are pushing toward the consumer, the flashy ads of happy drivers driving the way no “real” driver ever does, if perhaps some real world toning down of he power ethics of these companies and some of their customers might be helpful.
    Simply learning to drive efficiently would result in a reduction. The strangled blast of exhaust from the contractor pick up parade each morning and evening as their three ton trucks carry one worker to and from a site, many coming from quite far away…. well this alone is a waste. Just driving like their right foot was lighter would help. Car pooling also and smaller trucks even more so.

    Then I look at the “recreational” use of gasoline. The totally unnecessary consumption for boats way bigger than they need to be. The fleets of ATV’s that serve no purpose except to annoy people around them, trespass and consume fuel. This list goes on… I wonder if the tax will have any measurable and good effect at reduction.

    Then, knowing my sad experience with governments telling facts the way they want to, rather than the way they are, are these taxes going to actually DO ANYTHING to help the environment. (Remember they say that most of the taxes will be rebated back to Ontario Residents) Don’t you have to ask if they take the tax on one hand and rebate it with the other… like “What did it do??”

    Finally, what is the net tax the government keeps from all this going to be used for? Another trip by Trudeau and family to visit the Aga Khan?

    If they were serious about our society reducing carbon emissions, they would allow small business and families to invest in things like solar net metering in a much easier and simpler way so that we could spend our money (more efficiently than any government will by the way) to reduce our personal carbon footprint.
    They might somehow reduce plane travel that uses vast quantities of oil for fuel and increase the frequency and ease of use of things like trains.

    Another point is that although this is sort of a silly thing to note and should not be used as an excuse, Canada produces so little carbon dioxide compared to places like the US, China, India etc that our cumulative effect on the world is virtually undetectable so this sort of makes all this a bit of a “feel good” exercise rather than a meaningful attempt to reduce.

    I’m getting carried away here and shall stop now but the point is that the government is doing a poor job with all this. If anything significant is going to come to our salvation it won’t happen from this kind of foolishness. People are not all idiots and if they protest a tax like this maybe it is simply because they can see through it right from the start and realize how relatively useless this all is, the way it is being done, in the context of the world today.

  5. Jack Mardlin on

    “A few days ago, the price of gas in this area went down by about 6 cents, and the change went largely unnoticed!”
    Why should this be a celebration when the price of gas closer to Toronto is still 7 cents cheaper.
    Let us also remember the “cap&trade” tax that Wynne saddled us with on January 1, 2017. Another 4.3 cents on every litre.

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