Alberta introduces carbon tax bill

The government of Canada’s Alberta province introduced legislation on May 24 to implement a carbon tax starting next year. Bill 20 is one of the first major steps by the provincial government to formalise a climate-change plan that will reduce or limit the Canadian province’s greenhouse-gas emissions that was unveiled last November.

“The Climate Leadership Plan will diversify our economy, create new jobs, improve the health of Albertans and erase any doubt about our environmental record,” Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said. “It will also open up new markets for our products.”

The Climate Leadership Implementation Act will also lead to the creation of a new government agency to deliver energy-efficiency programs and help to develop an energy-efficiency services industry.

The government said it expects to raise CAD 9.6 billion (USD 7.3 billion) through levies on both consumers and heavy emitters over the next five years. Alberta’s new carbon tax targets all fossil fuel consumption, including gasoline sales and natural gas for home heating. The government will levy a tax of  CAD 20 (USD 15.21) per metric tonne from next January, which will then be increased to CAD 30 (USD 22.81) from January 1, 2018.

The bill will also amend the Alberta Corporate Tax Act to reduce small-business taxes to 2% from the current 3% next year to help smaller firms adjust to the cost of the carbon tax.

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