April Fools' Day marks very real tax hikes in B.C.

It may be April Fools' Day but the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says tax increases that went into effect today are no joke.

BC Director Kris Sims says ICBC rates went up, which will cost BC drivers an extra $133 a year for basic auto insurance.

As of today BC Hydro customers are paying 1.8% more, part of a projected 8.1% hike over the next 5 years.

And BC's carbon tax went from $35 to $40 per ton, adding about 9 cents to every litre of gasoline.

Sims says because so much depends on fuel, you won't just be paying more for gas, you'll be paying more for almost everything:

" And now, what this means is, your everyday life, picking up the kids from school, going to get groceries, driving to and from work, even those groceries that you buy off the shelf now, are going to cost  that much more because we use oil and gas, we use gasoline and diesel in pretty much every aspect of our lives.  And that's why a hike to the carbon tax means a hike to the cost of pretty much everything."

Sims adds a large portion of what you are paying for at the pump is tax, and because the GST is calculated AFTER the federal excise tax and PST are added in, you are actually paying tax  those taxes:

" The GST is added after, and on top of, all of those other taxes. So things like the provincial fuel tax, carbon tax, federal excise tax, you name it. The  GST is then slathered on top of all of that. It's a tax on a tax."

Sims says in order to change things taxpayers have to take action, by phoning or emailing their member of parliament demanding change.

And Sims adds the tax isn't even revenue neutral anymore, meaning it simply goes into general revenue and up the government's piggy bank -- so while things get more expensive, there is nothing to show for it. The latest figures show since the carbon tax was implemented carbon emissions have gone up, not down in B.C.

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