Federal tax change could raise electricity, gas bills in some provinces

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Published March 5, 2024 at 12:50 pm

Electricity Canada is sounding the alarm over a proposed tax change it warns could see some private utilities saddled with millions in additional income taxes.

Michael Powell, its vice-president of government relations, says that would likely mean some privately operated electricity and natural gas companies would have to hike the rates charged to consumers.

He says the problem arises from an adjustment to the Income Tax Act proposed in the government’s bill to implement its fall mini-budget.

It would bring Canada in line with the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland on tax rules for companies that operate across more than one country.

But Powell says those countries exempted private utilities that are publicly regulated because they are often required to carry higher debt loads in order to keep rates lower.

The new rule would lower the tax exemptions for those debt loads, meaning income tax bills would go up.

The Canadian Press

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