Kamloops drivers guzzled gas eight times faster than the rate of population growth - a fact Canadian Taxpayers Federation says is evidence the carbon tax doesn't work.
The group submitted a 25-page report to a provincial government review panel Monday. It urged the B.C. Liberal government to kill the tax, saying it is unpopular and doesn't curb fossil fuel use.
B.C. director Jordan Bateman said 500 members in B.C. want the carbon tax axed.
The levy was brought in by former premier Gordon Campbell in 2008 as a way to meet aggressive targets set by the province to lower greenhouse gas emissions. On July 1 this year it rose to 6.67 cents a litre on gasoline.
The tax, which applies to all fossil fuels, was accompanied by personal income tax cuts and other tax cuts, making it revenue neutral as certified by B.C.'s auditor general.
But Bateman said the organization's figures found the tax isn't curbing gasoline use. Instead, he argues it is penalizing car-dependent communities.
The taxpayer federation produced numbers showing gasoline use in Kamloops jumped from 102.5 million litres in 2007 to 127.1 million litres in 2010 - a 24 per cent increase at a time when the population grew by little more than three per cent.
"That breaks down to $102 in gasoline carbon tax for every man, woman and child in Kamloops," states the report.
Overall carbon emissions from all sources rose 14 per cent.
But City councillor Donovan Cavers said the taxpayer federation's numbers prove only the tax is too low to make a difference in driver behavior and choice of vehicle.
"It's such a minimal amount people don't recognize it," said Cavers.
The City councillor and former Green party candidate said while no one likes taxes, the best levies "should be on things we don't want."
That includes high use of fossil fuels, he argued.
Bateman urged the province to kill the tax. He estimated about $228 million of balancing tax cuts went to individuals while the rest of the $1.2 billion take was made revenue neutral through a corporate tax cut and industry tax breaks.
"Especially anywhere outside Metro Vancouver it's incredibly unpopular."
The review is being undertaken by B.C.'s Ministry of Finance.
B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake has stated publicly he favours keeping the carbon tax, arguing in part the province cannot afford a billion-dollar hit to the budget if it were to be removed.