Non-Profit Group Will Refund First-Ever Canadian Tax on Electric Vehicles to Saskatchewan EV Owners
Thursday, October 7th 2021 4:02:16pm
Regina, October 7, 2021 - On October 1, 2021, Saskatchewan became the only province in Canada to tax electric vehicles (EVs). In response to the unprecedented move, the Small Change Fund — a national crowdfunding non-profit group — is responding with an equally unprecedented refund to Saskatchewan EV owners.
"This sends a powerful message to the Government of Saskatchewan," says Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Small Change Fund. "If you can't be part of the solution, others will step up to fix your short-sighted act."
"As far as we can tell, this kind of refund has never been done," says Mausberg, "but it had to be — this tax at this time is simply the wrong message."
The non-profit worked with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and EV owners associations to create "SidewalkTax.ca," a satirical campaign about taxing healthy, environmentally-sound sidewalk use, which then sends readers to learn about the real tax on equally-beneficial EVs. The Small Change Fund created fictional "Sidewalk Tax" to call attention to the new EV tax punishing environmentally-friendly EVs.
Electric vehicles play an important tool in fighting climate change, improving health, and growing our economy, and four provinces, as well as the federal government, provide incentives to switch to electric. This disincentive sends a confusing message to both consumers and potential investors: that instead of encouraging adoption of EVs and investment in supportive technologies, Saskatchewan is discouraging these moves.
"What's more, the Saskatchewan government will also consider applying a tax at charging stations," says Mausberg. "This at a time when Saskatchewan has all the elements needed to become a national leader in the EV field."
"They're driving in reverse."
As part of the SidewalkTax.ca campaign to raise awareness about the tax, EV drivers can apply for the refund, but are encouraged to instead donate the money to groups concerned about the climate crisis and human health. "They'll use the funds to take action on the climate crisis, something EVs were designed to do," says Mausberg.
The group is also asking the Government to delay the implementation of the tax until EV ownership, and the business industrial activity around it, have had the chance to take root and grow in Saskatchewan.
"EVs make money for auto dealers, infrastructure installers and manufacturers, utilities, the mining sector… they're the future," says Mausberg, pointing to the fact that Canada has set a mandatory target for all new light-duty cars and passenger truck sales to be zero-emission by 2035.
Refunds are available for the month of October by going to www.sidewalktax.ca.
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About Small Change Fund: Since our founding in 2008, the Small Change Fund has worked with over 200 community partners to support more than 230 projects. We have connected these groups with more than 1,850 donors, including matched funds from corporate and foundation partners, raising $1 million and counting.
Small Change Fund believes in people. We believe people know how to fix the problems in their communities, their cities, and their country. We believe people can make change without long studies, thick reports, and big money.