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$1 Billion for Climate Action – PST Exemption to Include Electric Bicycles

February 25, 2008 – Balanced Budget 2008 provides an additional $1 billion over four years for operating and capital expenditures and tax incentives to encourage environmentally responsible choices, implement new regulatory requirements, undertake cutting-edge research, and make needed low-carbon investments.

New climate action initiatives include:

– $98 million for the new LiveSmartBC: Efficiency Incentive Program and other initiatives to encourage individuals and communities to make more energy-efficient choices for their homes, businesses and vehicles;
– $370 million for capital and operating expenses to improve and expand public transportation in British Columbia;
– $33 million for transportation initiatives to reduce emissions from commercial truck and ship traffic at B.C.’s ports and in technology to reduce idling at truck-stop and weigh-scale locations;
– $130 million in capital and operating expenses for a carbon-neutral public sector by 2010, including energy-efficiency retrofits for public buildings, establishing the Pacific Carbon Trust, and the use of desktop video-conferencing technology and low-carbon procurement practices;
– $9 million for key commitments from the 2007 throne speech and the Energy Plan such as designing a Green Building Code, creating emissions standards for landfills and new motor vehicles, and developing a “cap and trade” system for large greenhouse gas emitters;
– $57 million for bioenergy and alternative energy solutions such as establishing a Bioenergy Network, introducing a biodiesel production incentive, expanding solar thermal energy systems, and supporting the Innovative Clean Energy Fund;
– $98 million for climate change research through an endowment to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, and to undertake a feasibility analysis on carbon capture and storage technology for natural gas production;
– $111 million — including $62 million for contingencies to develop additional climate action solutions — to undertake stakeholder consultations, establish and fund the Citizens’ Conservation Council, assist the Climate Action Team, and support public outreach to promote greener choices;
– $31 million to support innovation in the pulp and paper industry to further reduce its carbon footprint and enhance the carbon storage potential of B.C. forests;
– $49 million to improve B.C.’s ability to adapt to climate change implications, including funds to enhance climate data collection systems and funding for flood protection and planning;
– $15 million over three years to increase the equity tax credit budget by $5 million per year and set a tax credit budget of $7.5 million for clean technology businesses;
– Expanding intellectual property to include green-related patents;
– $33 million to provide tax relief for the purchase of conventional fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the fuel efficiency criteria set out in the federal government’s ecoAuto rebate program;

Providing PST exemptions for;

– ENERGY STAR-qualified residential refrigerators, clothes washers and freezers,
– energy-efficient residential gas fired water heaters, insulation for hot water tanks, hot and cold water pipes, and ductwork,
– production machinery and equipment for local governments for power production and cogeneration,
– biodiesel fuel or portion of biodiesel fuel for heating, and
– aerodynamic devices for commercial tractor-trailer vehicles;
– Providing relief from passenger vehicle rental tax for rentals of eight hours or less
– Expanding the PST exemption on bicycles to include electric-assisted two and three wheel cycles and non-motorized adult tricycles;
– Reducing the tax payable on electric motorcycles;
– Reducing PST payable on hydrogen fuel cell buses to match the tax reduction available for other alternative fuel buses;
– Repealing PST exemption on purchases of coal and coke, except for residential use; and
– Classifying biodiesel and ethanol as alternative motor fuels for all purposes.

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