As we wait for the provincial and federal government officials to square off in court over the mandated carbon tax, Moose Jaw's Budget Committee has learned new details of what the federally imposed pricing could mean to our property taxes.
Finance Director Brian Acker outlined a report that detailed all the increased costs City Hall will face including electricity, natural gas, fuel and inflation.
"We've estimated that to be about $484,000 with the bulk of that in our capital area. That's where you see a lot of the carbon costs built into that and that will be passed on from our suppliers to the City of Moose Jaw," explained Acker. "Overall, right now for 2019, we're estimating a potential impact to the City of Moose Jaw of $730,000."
And that's just the start as the tax is expected to increase every year but with many of the details still vague, Acker said they can't really start to budget for the carbon tax and they can only wait on the sidelines until the process is finalized.
Acker says the glimmer of hope is a promise that cities will get a refund on the carbon taxes they pay but right now nothing is set in stone as the provincial government challenges the tax in court. Also impacting what the city will pay is an opportunity for those high emitting companies to reduce their carbon footprint which would reduce the amount of tax they would face and in turn, reduce what we would pay as a city.
If Moose Jaw were forced to pay the carbon tax and Ottawa decided against a rebate for municipalities, the $730,000 for 2019 would translate into a need for a 2.5% mill rate increase.