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Ontario homeowner says federal carbon tax now almost 25% of heating bill

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An Ontario woman was surprised to see the federal carbon tax accounted for nearly a quarter of her total heating bill.

Marsha Cohen, of Thornhill, Ont., told CTV News Toronto she was concerned about it, prompting her to call Enbridge to understand the various charges better.

"The carbon charge is really a tax, and I can see that I'm being charged HST on it, which is now a major part of my bill. I wonder why I'm paying a tax on a tax?" said Cohen.

Cohen's natural gas bill came out to $203.98. The federal carbon tax was $44.73, but with harmonized sales tax included, it totals $50.54 – nearly 25 per cent of her gas bill.

"It's just unadulterated gouging, and I feel someone should do something about it, and I'm trying my best," said Cohen.

Enbridge told Cohen it is required to collect the carbon tax on behalf of the federal government and instructed her to contact her Member of Parliament if she had an issue with it.

Premier Doug Ford opposes carbon taxes and said there should be a referendum if any future Ontario government tried to bring in a carbon pricing program.

"This tax, all carbon tax schemes, they're awful. They take money out of people's pockets, raise the prices at the gas pump, they increase the cost of groceries and your home heating bills. They increase the cost of absolutely everything," Ford said during an announcement Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Canada's Department of Finance told CTV News this "price on pollution" lines the majority of Canadians pockets with more money.

"In 2023-24, a family of four in Ontario is receiving $976 back through pollution pricing rebates. And, starting this spring, families living in rural communities will see a 20 per cent top-up," the spokesperson said.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the average Ontario homeowner now pays $300 more annually in carbon taxes to heat their home and no one should have to pay HST on the carbon tax.

"There should be no situation where we have to pay a tax on a tax. That is completely unfair," said Jay Goldberg, Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Goldberg said the amount Ontarians pay is even more when considering carbon taxes on gasoline.

"The average Ontario family is losing $620 this year from the carbon tax, even after the rebates," said Goldberg.

The carbon tax is set to increase this April and again every April until 2030.

If you use natural gas and are paying about $300 more in carbon charges to heat your home, the CTF said that amount could jump to more than $1,000 over the next three years.  

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