Taxpayer watchdog says Victoria gas would be $1.07/L without taxes

Taxpayer watchdog says Victoria gas would be $1.07/L without taxes

WATCH: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the B.C. government to ease the pain at the pump by reducing or eliminating all the extra taxes. Tess van Straaten reports.

The most expensive gas in the world is in the Netherlands at around $6.50 U.S. a gallon. But gas analysts say Vancouver ? at the equivalent of $4.77 U.S. a gallon ? is now more expensive than many European countries.

“We rank about 13th around the world now so if I go to Japan today or Switzerland or Ireland, it’s surprising to see our prices here in Vancouver and to a lesser extent Victoria is at or above the levels there,” says petroleum analyst Dan McTeague.

Experts say the biggest reason the province has such high gas prices isn’t necessarily seasonal changes or refinery shutdowns ? it’s taxes.

Here’s how it adds up in Greater Victoria:

– Federal excise tax: 10 cents
– Victoria Regional Transit Service: 5.5 cents
– Dedicated Motor Fuel Tax (BCTFA): 6.75 cents
– Provincial Motor Fuel Tax: 7.75 cents
– Carbon Tax: 7.78 cents
– 5% GST 7.3 cents (at 152.9 cent pump price)
= Total Tax: 45.1 cents
“It is shocking and I think it’s shocking for a lot of Canadians,” says Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “It adds more than 45 cents a litre in Victoria and for Vancouver, it’s over 50 cents a litre.”

Without all those taxes, Sims says we’d be paying about $1.07 a litre in Victoria.

“If governments really cared and wanted to reduce the pain at the pumps, they could cut our taxes,” says Sims.

“They could, for example, cut the carbon tax. It’s almost 8 cents a litre. They could cut the tax on the tax, which a lot of people don’t realize they’re paying GST on the other taxes.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is now calling on the government to take action and they’re not the only ones, especially when it comes to the BC carbon tax.

“I think they could give a bit of a breather on that front,” McTeague says. “They could also consider some form of a rebate. They are collecting a lot of money at these higher prices.”

B.C. has the highest carbon tax on fuel in North America, but Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says cutting it would be a mistake.

“It’s important we recognize there’s a cost for using our atmosphere for an unregulated dumping ground,” Weaver says.

Weaver also says transit and road taxes have to come from somewhere.

“We’ve got to ask the question ? what are the taxes being used for?” he says. “If you want transit service, well, you got to pay for it somehow.”

CHEK asked the NDP government for an interview on the topic of the carbon tax and other gas taxes, but our request was declined.


Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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