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   NEWS RELEASE   

For Immediate Release

2008OTP0235-001451

Sept. 24, 2008

Office of the Premier

 

MUNICIPALITIES RECEIVE CLIMATE ACTION INCENTIVE

 


PENTICTON – The Province will offset the carbon tax for local governments who have committed to become carbon neutral by 2012, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

 

“The Climate Action Revenue Incentive program will be a new conditional grant equal to what local governments pay in the carbon tax, with only one string attached – to be eligible, communities must sign onto the Climate Action Charter and commit to becoming carbon-neutral by 2012,” said Premier Campbell. “If communities do that, and publicly report on their plan and progress in meeting that goal, they will be eligible to receive a grant equal to 100 per cent of their carbon tax costs.”

 

To date, 133 local governments have signed the B.C. Climate Action Charter, pledging to become carbon-neutral by 2012. The Province will work in partnership with the UBCM to develop a framework to accurately track what local governments pay annually in carbon tax. For the current year, the carbon emissions tax municipalities pay will have to be estimated. Subject to legislative approval next February, municipalities will receive a grant by March 31. For next year and future years, the Province will provide grants based on the previous year’s actual costs so that local governments can recover every penny they pay in carbon tax, without adding any burden to the property tax.

 

Local governments will be required to report annually on steps they are taking to become carbon-neutral by 2012. A similar program will be developed with boards of education.

 

“We will also be working with boards of education to create a similar charter that gives them that same revenue opportunity by committing to carbon neutrality,” said Premier Campbell.  “We are reducing taxes for individuals, families and businesses by $1.8 billion to ensure every penny of the tax on pollution is returned and this program will ensure the same for local governments. All carbon tax generated will be used to reduce taxes for British Columbians.”

 

The program will be above and beyond other programs that provide financial support to local governments to become sustainable such as Towns for Tomorrow, LocalMotion, the Innovative Clean Energy Fund, the Energy Efficient Buildings Strategy, SolarBC and Bike BC.

 

Since 2001, the Province has provided $1.9 billion in additional financial support to local governments. Of that funding, $1 billion has supported local government capital and infrastructure investments. The remaining $900 million has supported local government operations.

 

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Media

contact:

Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177

 

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