Cracking open the carbon tax: A look at what Alberta\'s most controversial tax has been spent on
Since the introduction of a carbon tax two years ago to fund local green projects in every corner of Alberta, the tax has been cut by $2 billion, but it remains the hardest hit in the province\'s politics. Taxation began on January. 2017, it slashed Alberta\'s Green Fund vault through gas pumps and heating bills. Everyone knows they paid, but it\'s not obvious where the money went. When the nortley government announced the plan in November 2015, it promised to spend every penny of the new tax on green projects or rebates for millions of Albertans. They made a lot of money. Brief announcement on big ticket projects funded by carbon revenue, but it is difficult to get detailed and comprehensive pictures of all expenditures. After media reporters pushed Alberta\'s environmental department to release these details, it finally came up with a breakdown of Alberta\'s spending on a carbon tax in the medium term. February. By looking through government data, we find that the allocation of funds is very complicated in more than a dozen government ministries and at least 55 projects and stands. alone projects. But the data also shows that city governments, businesses and individuals in more than 300 communities across the province, from Acadia to Zama, have seen carbon tax funds dedicated to local projects. The big- Admission Program is Alberta-wide —$450- Millions of carbon tax rebates and $220 for individuals Small businesses cut millions of taxes to offset their carbon tax costs. For individual projects, Calgary and Edmonton topped the list for $33. Special 5 million Calgary Area C With the expansion of the Green Line, Edmonton\'s light rail construction costs nearly $0. 23 billion. (Both projects are also committed to adding millions of dollars in the coming years ). However, most of the 2,000 projects funded by the carbon tax are in rural Alberta. They are small green projects such as energy audits for urban buildings, transforming arenas with LED lights, helping farmers improve energy efficiency, upgrading homes for the elderly, and working with First Nations to develop community energy plans. In Alberta politics, problems tend to burn down and then disappear in weeks or months, replaced by the next set of laws, new budgets in the public mind, or a heated argument. This is not the case with carbon taxes. From its concept to today, it is still one of the most concerned About political hot spots- This is unlikely to change in spring elections. For the NDP, it is still a hill that can die. Since the announcement of a new tax collection in 2015, the provincial government has praised it as an important part of its plan to tackle climate change. Shannon Phillips, the environment minister, insists that the carbon tax is working and Alberta needs to be a responsible environmental manager. But official objections remain fundamentally as opposed to the carbon tax as they were in 2015. Then- Brian Jean, the leader of the opposition party of the wilderos party, often asked the National Democratic Party to \"cut taxes\" in the house \". \"Now, UCP leader Jason Kenny has promised that the carbon tax will be canceled if he wins power. In fact, this will be the first piece of legislation passed by the coalition Conservative government, he said. Despite partisan politics, this has not stopped, and yes, it is a recognition of the environment, but community officials interviewed by Postmedia said it also makes financial sense. At Barrhead, the new solar panels on the roof of the regional water center lay dormant under thick snow. Though dazzling in the middle On February, 120 kilometers north of Edmonton, the sun shone on the town, and the panels were almost dormant, generating only a small amount of electricity. Center Maintenance manager Mike Bryant showed the media the solar panels covering the roof, pointing to only a few inches of space between the panels, bruised his feet in the winter build-up, make the forklift impossible. Four months ago, the flat black rectangle generated enough power to run the fan and exhaust unit below and feed back to the grid. Since May to October 2018, they have cut $7,481 from the town\'s electricity bill. But it will take 7 to 12 years for solar panels to save themselves energy costs (depending on weather and electricity prices ). The screen in the Water Center lobby shows the kilowatts generated on warm days and how much they save on emissions --and cash. The result is 65. 8 tons so far, equivalent to a car that has traveled nearly 439,000 kilometers. There is also the town of Meyer Thorpe, about 140 kilometers northwest of Edmonton, which has secured carbon tax funds for its exhibition center\'s energy audit. The audit is based on a long list of green improvements over the past decade, including Water heaters, lighting upgrades and energy-saving stoves and hot water tanks are required at the Town Hall. \"This is about reducing our footprint and reducing our energy consumption, implementing technologies that do not require operator maintenance for a long time,\" Karen St said . \" Martin, the town\'s chief executive. \"Savings are not realized right away. You have to look at this in the long run. Barrhead and Mayerthorpe are just two of them, but not everyone is equalling between what they pay when they fill the tank and the green energy they generate when they swim. Even the penbina Institute, environmental think tank Strong supporters of Tank and carbon tax believe that the provincial government could have done better in building this connection. \"It\'s a problem in a sense, because people don\'t see what it\'s good for them. \"Why do they continue to support it,\" Julia said ? \" Maria Becker, director of Clean Economy at the Institute. Becker pointed out several main reasons for this disconnect. First of all, the rebate check is from the federal government and there is nothing related to the tax. Label them with things like \"carbon tax\" \"It will help to work for you,\" Becker said . \". That is lack of communication. \"(The government) has been so busy doing things that they don\'t have time to talk about things,\" Becker said . \". \"So people don\'t get in touch anymore because no one explains to them and no one talks to them about it. So how should they know \"in San mayesop Martin made clear the political nature of the carbon tax. However, private companies that conduct energy audits of the town\'s civic centres have not evaded this link, noting in a report to the town that Canada\'s carbon tax is \"relatively notorious \". The shame and the routine. Alberta\'s instinctive tax response could lead to a disconnect that town officials admit. Many simply don\'t see the link between the newly installed energy-saving lamps at the local ice rink and the annual increase of about $200 in carbon taxes and their home heating bills. \"I don\'t think there is a link in the public mind,\" said Jeff Shaw, chief administrative officer from the town of Cardston on the Montana border. Given that projects in the town and the county have received nearly $700,000 from green funds, do locals like the carbon tax \"when people get the utility bills they don\'t like \". \"They won\'t go when they go to the gas station,\" Xiao said . \". \"I don\'t know anyone praising the tax. It seems to be reversed. intuitive. This disagreement is also evident in Barrhead. \"I don\'t think our tax base has seen that connection yet. It\'s there, definitely it\'s there, but I don\'t think many of them will think of it, \"said Shallon Toute, director of parks and entertainment in town. Bryant at the aquatic center said that when solar panels went live in September 2017, most locals didn\'t even know, but they appreciated the fact that the town was leaning towards green. This is part of the community\'s greater efforts, he said, which also includes replacing old lights with led in parks and public buildings and installing additional recycling bins. \"People are commenting that it\'s good to see us do this and try to move forward,\" Bryant said . \". \"This is a good example. If we are not doing this as a town, how can you expect people from this town to join in and do something ? \" A consumer carbon tax began in Alberta in January. 2017, carbon emissions are priced at $20 per ton. It rose in January. $2018 to $30 per ton. In 2007, the government began raising funds from industrial emitters, which released 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases within a year. These fees will be charged by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund (CCEMF. Here\'s how much revenue these two taxes have generated in the last two fiscal years, and a forecast for 201819. Carbon tax revenue: $250 million total: $413 million carbon tax revenue: $1. $05 billion. 23 billion carbon tax revenue: $1. Total revenue from BillionCCEMF: $485 million: $1. 785 billion 2016- 17: $276 million 2017-18: $1. 1 billion2018- 19: expenditure and budget so far: Alberta\'s carbon tax is $414 million, plus the existing carbon tax on large industrial emitters, which is expected to generate nearly $3. 5 billion from January 2017 to March 2019. According to provincial data, these revenues have been used for hundreds of projects. This is the biggest expenditure per fiscal year.