Carbon tax costs may be passed on to parents in Calgary school system

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The new fuel tax imposed by the Provincial Government will mean unexpected expenses school boards may have to pass on to parents. Tony Tighe has the story and parent reaction.

Alberta’s new carbon tax will cost Calgary school boards an unexpected expense in their upcoming budgets.

The Calgary Board of Education said it will cost at least $1 million more than expected and the Calgary Catholic School Board is citing an increase of over $300,000.

The carbon tax adds around five cents a litre to gasoline and diesel fuel and just over an extra dollar a gigajoule to natural gas for heating.

The CBE said the amount for heating schools will be worked into the operating budget, but about a third of the levy will have to be passed on to parents to pay for bussing.

“We are still involved in our transportation engagement with our families and our parents and so we’re going to have to wait and see what our public have to say about how they expect us to deal with transportation. That will be worked in as part of the solution, that shortfall there,” said Amber Stewart, the vice chairperson of the Calgary Board of Education.

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She said the transportation budget is already facing a $13 million shortfall and absorbing the carbon tax levy will either mean extra fees for parents or cuts in service levels.

The Calgary Catholic School Board said the carbon tax will increase transportation and utilities by $350,000 next year.

They said so far the plan is to incorporate the expense into their operating budget.