Tax hike, tax cut
The federal government’s dreaded Carbon Tax came into effect recently, but the government of Prince Edward Island has taken steps to limit the impact on Island residents.
As of the first of the month, driver’s licenses are now free to get on Anne’s Island, and the costs of registering a car have been lowered and in some cases eliminated.
So far, the Island government appears to be the only one taking this particular approach to reducing the impact of the carbon tax on residents of the province.
Most other provinces are providing some sort of a rebate program or a reduction in the excise taxes on fuels.
The second prong of the Island’s carbon reduction strategy is to reduce the registration costs on vehicles. All vehicles will be a reduction of 20 per cent in basic registration fees. This increases to a 50 per cent reduction for non-plug-in hybrid vehicles while plu- in hybrids and electric vehicles will be free to register.
By contrast, the Nova Scotia government has decided to go with a cap and trade plan which also came into effect the first of the year. Under this plan, companies’ carbon emissions will be capped but they will be able to purchase offsets from companies operating under their caps.
It may be good for the companies, but for consumers it will mean increases in both electricity and fuel costs. Under the plan, for example, gas prices are expected to climb by about one cent immediately. It often changes by that or more in any week under our regulation system, so where is the incentive for drivers to change habits?
To my way of thinking, the Island plan is the most beneficial to residents and may also prove the most effective in achieving a reduction in emissions.
“As of the first of the month, driver’s licenses are now free to get on Anne’s Island, and the costs of registering a car have been lowered and in some cases eliminated.”