The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the British Columbia government to delay the implementation of several taxes, including increasing the carbon tax.
The Ministry of Finance says in a statement this year’s planned carbon tax increase from $40 per tonne to $45 per tonne has been deferred until next April.
The ministry says keeping the carbon tax where it is will give businesses and families more time to recover from the pandemic, while ensuring the province still meets the required federal carbon pricing of $50 per tonne by 2022.
The Pembina Institute says the deferral sends the wrong signal to businesses investing in B.C.’s low-carbon economy, while the Green party says the move benefits the oil and gas industry.
To support businesses, the ministry says the Employer Health Tax quarterly payment periods have been extended, giving businesses more access to cash flow during the recovery.
The government’s plans to start charging the seven per cent provincial sales tax on sweetened carbonated drinks this year will now be deferred until April 2021.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.