If you’ve started to file your income tax in Ontario you’ve probably already come across this treat – the calculation of your Climate Action Incentive which will result in money back from the Canadian Government either in reduced tax payment or an increased refund.
As you can see in the extract from Step 1 of Schedule 14 the rebate is $154 for an individual, an additional $77 for a spouse and an additional $38 for other qualified dependents such as children. If you live in a rural area your rebate will be 10% higher. Visit this page on the CRA web site for complete details.
I’m sure you remember that this tax measure is intended to offset some or all of the extra costs you will incur because of the price on carbon. For most Ontario residents the refund will be greater than the estimated extra cost incurred because of the extra cost of items that are made more expensive by the $20 per tonne that is now being applied.
Just as an example, the $20 per tonne results in an increase in the price of gas at the pump of 4.4 cents or about 4% at the current price of gas. For someone who drives 20,000 km per year (quite a lot) at 10 litres per 100 km (a pretty inefficient car) it would cost you an extra $88 if you don’t change your habits.
But of course the purpose of the increased cost is to encourage us all to change our habits. You could avoid the extra $88 by changing your habits. Driving 4% less is one choice. For example if you drive to work you could car pool twice a month. You could accelerate less quickly in the city or drive a bit slower when you are on the highway. You should certainly plan that your next car would be more efficient than the gas guzzler in the example above.
Once you have changed your habits, what are you going to do with the money? Why not donate some or all of it to one of the many great organizations that are working to try and limit climate change damage to our world.
If you live in Peterborough it would seem fitting to make a charitable donation to the City to support the Peterborough Climate Change Action Plan. Donors will receive a tax receipt which means that if you give the whole personal amount of $154 you will get credit for 40% or $60. As of last week the fund had $16,690 from 69 donors.
You can pay in person or by mail: If mailing in a cheque, please indicate somewhere in the address line ‘Attn. Richard Freymond’ so that the mail is directed to the correct department. The city’s address is as follows: 500 George St. N Peterborough, ON, K9H3R9.
Instructions and some of the actions your donation will support are now on the city web site.