Tax rebate offered to lure LNG producers

Income tax paid in the first three years would be applied as a rebate to higher rates in year four and five

The first LNG tankers could be loading up in B.C. by 2017

VICTORIA – The B.C. government plans to impose a two-tiered income tax on liquefied natural gas exports, with rebates in early years until investors recover the capital cost of building LNG processing plants.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong presented the framework for LNG income tax with Tuesday’s provincial budget. It describes an income tax rate of up to 1.5 per cent on net revenue in the first three years of LNG production, with a second tier rate of up to seven per cent applicable after five years.

Income tax paid in the first three years would be applied as a rebate to higher rates in year four and five, so the top rate wouldn’t take full effect until year six. Producers also pay royalties on natural gas at the wellhead, and B.C.’s carbon tax would apply to gas burned in processing and refrigeration of LNG.

De Jong said he the final income tax rates will be set when the government introduces legislation this fall. That is when international companies are expected to begin making final investment decisions.

The budget includes government revenue and expense forecasts out to 2017, with no tax revenue projected from LNG until later. De Jong said the government is sticking to its “lofty” goal of having three export plants operating by 2020.

In his response to the budget, NDP finance critic Mike Farnworth said the government has missed its original target to have the LNG tax regime in place by the end of 2013. He zeroed in on Premier Christy Clark’s promise to have at least one LNG pipeline and plant in operation at Kitimat by 2015, and her campaign pledge to retire B.C.’s growing debt.

“Judging from today’s lack of LNG revenue, the premier’s promise to magically wipe away $70 billion worth of debts in 15 years is surely a fantasy,” Farnworth said.

Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman denied the suggestion that the tax structure is behind schedule. He said he met with officials from Shell and other proponents last week, and they are “comfortable” with the progress to date.

“The opposition wouldn’t know LNG if it came up and bit them,” Coleman said. “They’re totally uninformed. They don’t support the process, they don’t support LNG, they never have.”

In a speech to the B.C. Chamber of Commerce in Vancouver Wednesday, Clark said not all of the 10 LNG plants currently proposed will proceed, but even one would be a significant source of revenue.

Asked by reporters if the budget means no LNG revenues by 2017, Clark said it is still possible.

“We don’t want to book money that we don’t have yet,” Clark said.

Just Posted

IRM reports small sulphuric acid leak at Waneta reload

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

New farmers in Columbia Basin supported by land matching program

New and young farmers in the Basin are receiving support and services from a dedicated land matcher

Columbia Basin Trust offering business accelerator program

Trust seeking motivated companies for customized support and mentorship program

Trail military exercises provide crucial training

Exercise Sapper Crucible: ‘The nuts and bolts of what a soldier is’

VIDEO: SPCA ushers in new era with Castlegar facility

$2.69-million project had ribbon cutting on Friday

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. VIEWS: Looking under the hood of ICBC’s war on crashes

Is our accident rate really soaring, or is it inefficiency?

B.C. tent city residents have three weeks to clear out: Supreme Court

Fire risk, criminal activity in neighbourhood cited as reasons for judgment

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

16 people died when Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan

The Vatican ‘owes God an apology,’ activist says in letter to Pope Francis

Letter came after a report on sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

Most Read