NDP’s Car­bon Tax pro­jec­tions con­cern for town

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Krystin McHugh The Drumheller Mail

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.