NDP’s Carbon Tax projections concern for town
January 1, 2017 could be a life changing day for anyone who drives a car, heats a home, or even buys groceries.
Mayor Terry Yemen said when asked how the new carbon tax will affect the local people, “It will affect the town dramatically.”
Carbon tax is a fee intended for those who use fossil fuels to pay for climate damages their fuel consumption imposes. The government is hoping this will give people an incentive to reduce CO emissions. The tax is intended to pay for the climate damages that the use of fossil fuels impose. The carbon content of every form of fossil fuel is precisely known and measured. This will be the factor that the tax is based on. Each fossil fuel can have a different carbon content. Coal is an example of a higher carbon content fossil fuel.
Mayor Yemen said that in the initial assessment for the town, just based on the natural gas usage for the town, there will be an increase of $60,000 a year with the carbon tax. This, combined with the amount of fuel that the town of Drumheller consumes, which is another $40,000, the Town is looking at an additional $100,000 bill.
“The town only has one funder and that’s the people of Drumheller,” Mayor Yemen said. “We are going to go into budget soon and we have to look at this $100,000 shortfall. We only have a couple of options and that is to increase taxes or reduce services. Historically, a one per cent tax increase is about $83,000 so we are looking at a 1.5 per cent tax increase before we even get started.”
This total doesn’t take into consideration inflation costs. According to the Mayor this only includes two of the many different tangibles with the car- bon tax.
“The cost of doing business is going to go up because all the other companies that the Town of Drumheller deals with will be dealing with increased costs,” he said “This will affect the residents of Drumheller too as their costs are going to go up proportionally because they will be hit with the same tax. So the people will see an increase on everything we will do because of the carbon tax.”
“When everything’s said and done it will look like something like a three per cent sales tax. Everybody is concerned about the environment but we’re the most regulated and conscientious fossil fuel country in the world. I think that time, money and energy would be better spent not penalizing the Canadian people but pointing fingers and demanding correction from the rest of the world. Our carbon footprint is so minor.”
Mayor Yemen said the taxes are being imposed from the provincial level
and the Town has no say in the matter.
“Please, tell the people that we in no way support this and it is being enforced from the provincial level and not the municipal level. I am not im- pressed at all.” Mayor Yemen said.
Mayor Yemen said some of the government grants that the town qualified for in the past are no longer available and that leaves council with the tough decision of how to make up for the shortfall the Town will be facing. Town Council will be facing next year’s budget in the upcoming months and will have to decide if they will have to increase the taxes or cut services. Mayor Yemen said that it will most likely be a combination of both.
“There are definitely going to be some serious ramifications.” Mayor Yemen said, “I can’t say for sure how we will be dealing with it and it will be about February when we know.”
Mayor Terry Yemen