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:
4.4 + 10.0 + 5.3 = 19.7 cents
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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