Manufacturers, small businesses slam Liberal carbon tax rebate, warn of second tax fight

‘They already picked a fight with business owners with the small business tax changes in 2017, and now it looks like there will be another big one in 2018’

Small businesses are warning that the carbon tax rebate system outlined by Ottawa on Tuesday could force the private sector to shoulder an unfair portion of the costs, piling on new tax burdens just as expanded Canada Pension Plan requirements come into force next year.

The “deeply worrisome” tax changes will affect everyone from small textile manufacturers to, say, pizza restaurants that use natural gas-fired ovens, said Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). He said the rebate system introduced Tuesday could reignite anger within the small business community that came as a result of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s small business tax changes last year, which effectively raised taxes on high-wealth individuals and kicked off a political uproar.

He said the carbon tax rebate system, which will be enforced in four provinces, comes just as Ottawa prepares to roll out expanded CPP contributions, which will eventually raise the individual benefit rate by 33 per cent. The expanded contributions begin next year. Employers pay half of CPP benefits, which in turn raises payroll costs.