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Representatives of an environmental advocacy group are backing a potential initiative that could help reduce local fossil fuel dependence through barriers to a pipeline tax.
Adeola Agbeyemi, a project assistant with Environment Hamilton, says that when her group suggested that a potential levy could be a revenue alternative to Hamilton’s pipeline rate, councilors were “upset” because it is a municipal tax with no provincial There is no limit.
Egbayemi told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton, “So unlike other sections, there’s no limit to what the province says and the city follows.”
“But during our research, we found that there was no limit.”
The revelation came during research into six climate-related initiatives the nonprofit was hoping councilors could sign up to in the fight against climate change.
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Councilors have asked staff to look into the possibility of raising those taxes and how it might reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels.
According to the city’s general manager, residential taxpayers will not directly benefit from the increase, but it could ease the burden on other tax bases such as industrial and commercial sectors.
Mike Zegrac told councilors during Monday’s budget meeting that the impact of the reduction in tax rates would likely be on other property classes.
The city estimates that its current pipeline tax ratio imposed on utility companies could generate some $5 million in 2022 through the industrial, residential and commercial sections.
Egbayemi says she is glad councilors have acted on the recommendation, but hopes some consideration will be given to other research initiatives – including the investigation of 250 oil and gas wells within city limits, with only about 50 active. and more than half have been abandoned.
Egbayemi said, “I think there are two things… going forward we need to… put a lot of focus on sustainable rental building cooling, along with prioritizing geothermal energy.”
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