Carbon tax becoming a reality for Saskatchewan carriers

by Truck News-West

REGINA, Sask. – Having to pay any new tax is seldom a welcome expense for businesses and individuals, and Saskatchewan’s carbon tax is no exception.

With carriers now needing to keep track and record the amount of tax they pay for carbon emissions, the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) has had its fair share of inquiries regarding this new responsibility.

As Nicole Sinclair, director of policy and communications for the STA, explains, there are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding the carbon tax.

One such misunderstanding is that the new tax does not apply to trucking companies.

“This was mostly from the language used during the explanation from the Canadian Revenue Agency,” said Sinclair. “Trucking companies were called ‘road users’ and diesel was included under ‘light fuel oil.’”

The STA even had one carrier ask, “If we do not register for this because we think it’s a terrible idea, what will happen?”

“Some companies were weighing the cost-benefit of simply not complying with the program,” said Sinclair, adding there were a number of carriers that didn’t register because they did not understand that the carbon tax applied to them.

Fact is, the carbon tax does apply to carriers and they need to comply with the law.

There are several things companies should be doing to avoid issues when filing their taxes. As Jordan Ewart, policy analyst for the STA, explained, carriers should “track the mileage they travel in each province, not just Saskatchewan.” Sinclair said to “understand why you are being charged, as Saskatchewan was a ‘backstop jurisdiction,’ meaning where you travel and where you are based impacts the administrative responsibility.”

The STA has had several carriers contact the office recently asking questions like, “I thought companies in Saskatchewan weren’t on board with the carbon tax, so why do we have to do this?” And, “How do I calculate the carbon tax? Do I register for the carbon tax if I fuel in the U.S. and drive in Canada?”

Despite the STA advising its members to comply with the new law, it does not shy away from how it feels about the carbon tax.

“As the STA has stated many times before, this is a burden for trucking companies,” said Sinclair. “Not only is everyone now paying more at the pump, but costly hours are being dedicated to filling out paperwork that is confusing and unnecessary.”

In addition to Saskatchewan, the federal government imposed a carbon tax April 1 on Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick at a cost of $20 a ton for 2019, increasing by $10 annually until reaching $50 a ton in 2022.

The federal carbon tax was levied on provinces that did not implement their own plan.

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  • Andrew Scheer and the rest of the Conservatives have been giving gross prices on the carbon tax. They do not consider rebates, investment into rapid transit, solar energy and wind farms. No one is pocketing anything from carbon tax!

  • With a country as large as Canada and we produce less than anyone in the industrial world, the Liberals have decided on another way to pick our pockets. to get out and vote in October. Send these carpetbaggers down the road to obscurity forever…..

  • There is no bonus this year.
    Taxes; who wants to pay them?

    I am employed by a company with a small fleet, which is subject to the Carbon tax in Ontario.
    The Premier of Ontario decided (I presume ideologically ) that any tax is not acceptable, as did other Conservative Premiers across the country.
    One might suggest that position was taken in the interest of the business community, not their other constituents.

    Taxes are what helps to bind the country, through infrastructure and social programs. Many levies are collected and distributed by the Federal Government ( translation:you and me ). Whether these funds are properly allocated is another issue, bearing some scrutiny.
    When companies and trucking associations complain that the process is a burden, who will disagree.( I do remember when IFTA was thought of the same way).
    However, what is their solution to our looming collective problem? Canada has one of the highest carbon footprints per capita globally, and yet we have certain segments of the business community which refuse to offer any real remedy to our looming pollution issues. In fact, pretend that the economy is more important than quality of life. Both are important.

    Agree or not with the mandatory tax implemented by the Feds, we need to look at the intention, and use our votes to ensure those dollars are not wasted. Of course, other balanced and practical solutions must be out there.
    We need to concentrate on the remedies, the future demands it.

    I’ll keep working on the bonus angle.

    • The gov needs to have a number of sources of income. I do not like the carbon tax
      A better idea is income tax on income earned and increased property values when property is sold. I think any money raised in carbon tax should be used to improve ,roads parking, transportation of people. Also think a small amount of upgrades of electrical plugs and upto $10,000 per company per year for bunk heaters and air-conditioning and improved batteries for trucks cars or vans. Note some of the same groups complaining about more taxes were the first ones to collect the wage subsidies. We have question how gov money is spent. I know of many people who could have got C E R B or wage subsidy and did not apply.