Alberta small business owners say the NDP government’s carbon tax, expected to roll out next month, will negatively affect their businesses.
A survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicates a majority of small business owners in Alberta are against the carbon tax. Of the 865 small-business owners who participated in the CFIB’s summer survey, 86 per cent said the carbon tax could increase operating costs and 85 per cent said it could reduce profitability. Sixty-six per cent said it could increase pressure to cut salaries and 59 per cent said it could delay business investments.
“There couldn’t be a worse time than right now to introduce this carbon tax,” said Amber Ruddy, Alberta director with CFIB. “We’re urging the government to make carbon pricing completely revenue- neutral. That means returning all of the funds back through tax reductions and rebates.”
Starting January 1, a carbon tax will be applied to fuels at a rate of $20 per tonne in. Provincial officials say it will cost the average Albertan $191 in 2017.
“It’s going to definitely put a lot of these oil companies out of work,” said Darrell Reuer, branch manager at Rebel Transport Ltd. in Airdrie.