No April Fool’s joke: New B.C. taxes and fees go into effect today

April Fool’s Day no joke for rate hikes
WATCH: The cost of living just jumped for British Columbians with several rate hikes taking effect April 1. Grace Ke explains.

Correction: The story has been updated to clarify that the tobacco tax has increased by 2.8 cents to 27.5 cents per cigarette.

B.C.’s new carbon tax kicks in on Sunday and that means more pain at the gas pumps.

Prices are expected to jump by just over one cent per litre, the first of four annual carbon tax increases. The tax will add to fuel prices that were already as high as $1.57 per litre in some parts of Metro Vancouver.

WATCH: New B.C. carbon tax goes into effect

New B.C. carbon tax goes into effect
New B.C. carbon tax goes into effect

According to, Metro Vancouver is home to North America’s most expensive gasoline and the second-highest fuel taxes on the continent.

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“I don’t believe that British Columbians begrudge that penny a litre when they know it’s going towards making sure that future generations have an environment that’s sustainable and a world that we can all live in,” Premier John Horgan said.

The increase, coupled with a more expensive summer-grade gasoline, has experts predicting prices could climb to more than $1.60 per litre by the end of the week.

READ MORE: Here’s why B.C. pays such insane gas prices, and why even a new pipeline might not help

The carbon tax isn’t the only change kicking in today.

BC Hydro is going ahead with its promised three per cent rate hike, despite an NDP promise to freeze those prices. That equals roughly $4 more per month.

Tax on tobacco will cost 27.5 cents per cigarette, an increase of 2.8 cents.

Also taking effect on April 1, Victoria’s motor fuel tax goes up by two cents a litre.

LISTEN: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation lays out how British Columbians are getting hit with more taxes

Home inspectors will face a 36 per cent increase on their licensing fees.
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If you are in the market for a high-end car in B.C, get ready to pay a little more. The province has doubled the tax on the purchase of cars worth more than $150,000 to 20 per cent as of April 1. The measure will bring in an estimated $10 million.

WATCH: Government defends new carbon tax

Government defends new carbon tax
Government defends new carbon tax

Starting April 1, fares for the major BC Ferries routes will be frozen.

While no date has been given for rolling back fares on minor routes, the Ministry of Transportation said those changes will be made, along with reinstating free tickets for seniors travelling between Mondays and Thursdays.

— With files from Grace Ke, Amy Judd and Richard Zussman