Graph shows all provincial taxes as they would apply to a medium-sized facility producing 12 million tonnes of LNG per year

LNG tax drops in softer gas market

B.C. government scales down tax plan as Asian gas market slows down, Russia sells to China and oil prices decline

VICTORIA – Liquefied natural gas producers are being asked to pay a new tax of 3.5 per cent on their profits for the first 20 years of operation in B.C., after deducting their startup costs.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled the LNG tax system Tuesday, describing it as lower in total taxes and royalties than existing and proposed LNG export facilities in Australia, Alaska, Oregon and other U.S. states that are B.C.’s main competitors.

De Jong said B.C. scaled back its plan to charge up to seven per cent in the face of declining gas market conditions, including slower growth in China and its new long-term deal to buy pipeline gas from Russia. Japan is also considering restarting its nuclear power program after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake, and oil prices have declined in recent months.

Under the B.C. plan, a single medium-sized LNG plant on the B.C. coast would pay about $800 million a year in total provincial taxes after a three-year construction period. That includes the new LNG tax, royalties on gas produced in B.C., carbon tax, provincial sales tax and corporate income tax.

“That’s more than we got from the whole forest sector this year,” de Jong said.

There are currently 18 proposals for LNG plants in B.C., ranging from small to those twice the size of the finance ministry’s medium-plant example. One of the largest is LNG Canada, a consortium of Shell, PetroChina, Mitsubishi and Korea Gas to build a pipeline and export terminal at Kitimat.

LNG Canada issued a statement Tuesday saying it will continue to work on its B.C. plan.

“There is much more work to do prior to a final investment decision for LNG Canada and we will continue working with First Nations and local communities, as well as municipal, provincial and federal governments,” it said.

De Jong said the B.C. Liberal election promise to pay off the province’s debt with LNG revenues remains possible, but it will take longer than earlier estimates. A single medium-sized is worth $8 billion in revenues over a 10-year period of full operation.

NDP natural gas critic Bruce Ralston said the government had to slash its tax plan after it hyped the LNG revenue windfall to voters in the 2013 election campaign. That put B.C. in a weaker negotiating position with international investors, Ralston said.

The new tax takes effect in 2017, with an effective rate of 1.5 per cent for three years as companies construct LNG plants. Only one or two small facilities are expected to be ready by then. The rate rises to 3.5 per cent on net income after capital costs are deducted, and to five per cent effective 2037.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

Routes he drove have not been disclosed

Surrey mayor denies property tax deferral motion

Councillor’s notice of motion for Surrey property taxes to be deferred until Dec. 2 out of order

Team refunds OK’d for cancelled Surrey Mayor’s Cup soccer tournament

The decision follows the amalgamation of the Central City Breakers club with Surrey Football Club

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read