It’s been almost a year since the city of Kamloop, British Colombia, finally went green.
In that time, it has been the only municipality in the province to implement the province’s carbon tax, which was supposed to hit the economy with a tax on greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
The plan was supposed at the end of last year to generate $30 million annually, and then another $20 million every two years for the next three years.
But the provincial government says it’s been unable to reach a deal with the federal government on the cost of the carbon tax.
Instead, it is raising a carbon tax that has been on the books since 2014.
“We’re trying to do the right thing,” said Kamloopers councillor Don Hinton.
“There are a lot of people in the community who are struggling with the issue.”
That’s why Kamlooper, the capital of British Colombia and the first municipality to implement a carbon taxes system, has now announced a new tax, one that is also the first in Canada.
The tax, called the $20-a-tonne carbon tax by the city, will take effect in February 2019.
It’s aimed at addressing some of the biggest climate change concerns the province has.
“What we want to do is bring the price down to where we need to be,” said Mayor Mike Schmitz.
“The carbon price is going to be low and that’s what we’re trying at.
We’re also going to try to do it with an emphasis on community involvement, and that includes people in local government who are going to have to pay.”
Hinton said Kamlos carbon tax will be a levy that can be collected from businesses.
The city is going ahead with plans to build a $2-million greenhouse to store the carbon emissions from its operations.
Hinton, who represents the area, says the carbon price will have to be a $100 per tonne tax, and it will have a 10 per cent tax rate.
Kamlooping has also been a leader in carbon pricing.
Kamlos first carbon tax was implemented in the early 1990s.
Since then, Kamlos has implemented carbon taxes on an individual and business level.
In the past two years, the carbon taxes have been on top of other levies that have been imposed on the region.
In 2017, the city passed a $15-a.tonne levy.
It was aimed at making up for the loss of income that was made up by the province imposing its carbon taxes.
This year, the provincial Liberals introduced a carbon levy of $15 a tonne.
It will be on top or below the existing rate of $20 per ton.
“You’re going to see the difference of this,” said Hinton of the new tax.
“I think it’s going to go up.
We’ve got a lot more work to do.”
In Kamloopy, the government is going forward with its plan to collect the carbon from the city’s operations.
“It’s not just a tax,” said Schmits co-chair of the council, Doug Nesbitt.
“If you go into a grocery store, the cost is $20 a bag of ice cream and $10 for your milk, so it’s really important that people are able to afford to buy groceries at a fair price.”
The new carbon tax is being paid for with the money raised by the levy.
“This is going in the right direction,” said Nesbaitt.
He said it will not be a tax to be paid by residents.
“They’ll be able to get a refund, and if they don’t they can just go and use the money to pay their taxes,” said the Kamloobs mayor.
“But we’re going ahead and saying it’s a tax.”
The carbon tax isn’t the only new tax the city is considering.
The province is also planning to levy a $5.5-a.-tonne tax on gas and electric vehicles.
The provincial government will also be collecting the $2 million that was earmarked for the carbon levy from Kamlos businesses.
“These are things that people have been asking for and the government has been willing to take on,” said Dan Wicks, the Kamlos mayor.
Wicks said the province is not planning to tax the gas and electricity companies.
He says that they’re “in the same boat as the rest of the industry.”
Wicks says that the province isn’t going to tax gas and electrical companies.
“People are not going to pay this tax,” he said.
“For me, that’s the whole point.”
The $20 carbon tax announcement comes after the province released its greenhouse gas emission reduction plan, which included a $10-a-$30 carbon tax to pay for the new levy.
The government says the province will be providing a refund to residents of Kamlos who don’t have enough money