Albertans who have filed their 2021 tax returns should wake up Friday morning with some extra money in their bank accounts as the federal government pays out its first round of carbon tax rebates for 2022.
The first payment will include the first two quarters of the year. Single adults will receive $269.50. If you have a partner, or you’re a single parent, the second adult or first child will receive $135, additional children will receive $67.50 each. A family of four can expect to receive $539.50. Two more quarterly payments will be sent to Albertans in October and January.
The federal government says Albertans will receive more in rebates than they pay in carbon taxes, but the Canadian Taxpayers Federation isn’t convinced.
“Albertans are getting ripped off the worst in Canada when it comes to the carbon tax rebates,” said Kris Sims, the Alberta director of the CTF.
“According to the parliamentary budget officer’s numbers, when you add up all the costs, including the so-called hidden costs of the carbon tax, you’re still going to be paying a lot more.”
The PBO report, released in March, did find Albertans would be receiving more back in rebates than they directly pay in carbon taxes, but not when it took into account the impacts the tax has on employment and investment income.
“That report they (CTF) cite takes a very narrow view of the economy,” argued Michael Bernstein, the executive director of Clean Prosperity, a non-partisan Canadian think-tank that works with governments on environmental policies.
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“We know the greatest opportunity this century really for our economy is in low-carbon technology — none of that was considered in this study,” Bernstein said.
He pointed to growing investments in Canada in electric vehicles, renewable energy, the hydrogen economy and carbon capture and storage technology.
The federal government argues pollution pricing is recognized around the world as the most efficient way to reduce emissions.
“Critics choose to ignore both stimulus impact on the green economy and the massive costs that climate change and its severe weather impacts are already imposing on Canadian communities,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a statement.
The carbon tax is currently $50 per tonne in Canada, and is scheduled to reach $170 per tonne by 2030. Right now, Canadians pay about 11 cents per litre on gasoline and 13 cents per litre on diesel.