Wednesday evening, BC Premier Gordon Campbell announced a 3.5-cents-per-litre increase in the BC gas tax. By this afternoon it looked like this makes some BC voters angrier than they were when Campbell spent a night in the Maui slammer.
Campbell -- whose government slashed BC personal income taxes by 25% after election -- says that the gas tax increases are necessary. From CP:
|Gordon Campbell Has a Lot of Nerve|
Campbell said the fuel tax revenue, estimated at $200 million annually, is needed for almost $950 million in future transportation improvements.He has effectively transfered the costs of these new developments from the income tax payer to the driver. Seems reasonable enough.
In fact, this is a policy that can be supported from the both the "left" and the "right". It represents both a "user pays" system and a "polluter pays" system.
Some have also suggested that a tax like this might just be the best way to address Canada's Kyoto commitments. Campbell should get on the phone with the Prime Minister tonight and see if British Columbia can get any credit for the greenhouse gas reductions he has just ensured for the province.
Now, let's see if Campbell can maintain his support after a decision like this. From CP again:
"To add to this tax now is totally insane," said a Vancouver man at a gas station.