Industry seeking carbon tax changes

VICTORIA — Rather than an all out attack on B.C.’s new carbon tax, a number of industries on the west coast are banning together to get the tax tweaked before it’s in full swing.

Representatives from the mining, cement, forestry, smelting and trucking industries met in Victoria on Friday for a series of meetings with B.C.’s climate change secretariat.

The main concern amongst the business groups is that while the carbon tax is revenue-neutral for the government, it could have a significant impact on industry, especially the already struggling forest sector.

The carbon tax is currently structured so about 70 percent of it will be paid by businesses with only 30 percent returned through corporate tax cuts, while the public receives the rest through personal tax cuts, according to the Business Council of B.C.

Instead of trying to fight the tax altogether, the Business Council of B.C. is trying to get a better ration of return, such as a 60-40 split or maybe even a 50-50 split.

As well as joining other industries in meeting with the climate change secretariat, the B.C. Trucking Association is continuing to communicate the effects of climate change-related regulations on the industry to governments at all levels in an effort to promote a fair return of carbon tax investment.

Most recently, BCTA sent a direct message to Premier Gordon Campbell clearly spelling out how the carbon tax, in its present form, will only burden carriers with extra costs without incenting behavioural change.

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