University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe, writing at Macleans.ca, tries to disabuse people of the notion that a carbon tax is a “back-door PST.”
From Macleans.ca (“It’s ridiculous to call a carbon tax a sales tax. Here’s why.“):
Is a carbon tax a PST? No. The two taxes have different effects, different objectives, are levied on very different things, and have different legal implications. In short, a carbon tax is no more a sales tax than income taxes are.
Before diving in, let’s put aside the issue of whether a carbon tax is good or bad. That’s a separate conversation. Even if you’re not convinced by the arguments in favor of carbon pricing, a carbon tax is not a PST in disguise. It is entirely possible to oppose a carbon tax on reasonable and rational grounds. Acknowledging that a carbon tax isn’t a PST is in no way support for a carbon tax, but it is support for clear and honest debate. Something I hope most of us favour.