CTF praises Alberta for suspending fuel taxes through 2023

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), fuelling a light-duty pickup truck in Calgary costs about $35 extra in gasoline taxes. That same fill-up in Vancouver costs about $88 in taxes — thanks to an excise tax, second carbon tax and transit tax.

CTF praises Alberta for suspending fuel taxes through 2023
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According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the future is bleak for Canadians as 'hidden taxes' will make fuelling at the pumps more expensive.

"Albertans are saving big money by not having any provincial fuel taxes, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set on cranking up his carbon taxes every year from now until 2030," said Kris Sims, Alberta Director for the CTF. 

"Trudeau wants to make Vancouver's gas prices standard across the country."

According to the CTF, fuelling a light-duty pickup truck in Calgary costs about $35 extra in gasoline taxes. That same fill-up in Vancouver costs about $88 in taxes. 

They say the $53 price difference between the two cities is caused by B.C.'s excise tax, second carbon tax and Vancouver's transit tax.

According to its 25th annual Gas Tax Honesty Report, Albertans will pay 31 cents in taxes per litre of gasoline — Canada's lowest gas tax rate.

On November 29, the province initially suspended the 11.1 cents per litre carbon tax on gas and diesel by amending the Fuel Tax Act from January 1 to June 30, 2023.

On April 1, 2023, Ottawa increased the carbon tax to $65 per tonne, with successive increases expected until 2030, reaching $170 per tonne. The carbon tax cost is now 14.4 cents per litre.

On May 11, Premier Danielle Smith extended the fuel tax suspension to make "life more affordable" for Albertans this year — costing $520 million in uncollected tax revenue.

"We wanted to make sure that people had certainty until the end of the year, and […] we've already demonstrated that we are prepared to act quickly if there is an affordability issue we need to address," she said.

The Taxpayers Federation praised the UCP for their continued fuel tax suspension, saving drivers 13 cents per litre of gasoline and diesel.

The premier said freezing gas taxes will save families $6 to $18 every time they fill up. Since May 2022, Albertans have saved $1.5 billion to fuel their vehicles. 

However, they warned that Albertans will pay 54.4 cents in carbon taxes per litre of gas or diesel in 2030, with total fuel taxes amounting to 86 cents per litre.

"It's extremely tone-deaf for the federal government to keep hiking carbon taxes when Canadians can barely afford to fuel their cars now," said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director.

"Canadians need relief, which means politicians must scrap their federal carbon taxes that don't help the environment."

According to a Nanos poll commissioned by CTV News, two-thirds of Canadians say it is a poor time to increase the carbon tax.

Of the respondents, Nanos identified that 21% say now is "poor timing" for a carbon tax increase, with 46% saying it's "very poor" timing.

On a regional basis, opposition to another carbon tax hike is highest in the Prairies, with 79% agreeing now is poor timing.

The survey also found that over half (53%) of Canadians consider the federal carbon tax an ineffective countermeasure to combat 'climate change.'

Rebel News asked Smith if her government would consider extending the fuel tax next year.

"We want to gauge it based on how our oil and gas prices are doing because part of the reason for the fuel tax reprieve is as prices are high, we get more revenues, which gives us the revenue needed to offset an increase in [fuel taxes]," she replied. 

Statistics Canada's consumer price index unveiled that rising energy prices contributed to high inflation last year, as consumers paid 28.5% more for gasoline in 2022 annually than the prior year. 

According to the federal agency, Canadians spent 13.1% less at the pumps in December than in November as crude prices dropped amid concerns of a global recession.

"If prices go down, there will be some moderation," said Smith.

Last November, she called for Ottawa to revoke their planned tripling of the carbon tax by 2030, which has already contributed to higher inflation and borrowing costs for Albertan households. 

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem confirmed the carbon tax bolstered inflation by 0.4%. 

"It's to make life more painful for the poor and the powerless, and with that tax set to go up again in the middle of winter, when inflation is eating more and more into your hard-earned dollars," said the Alberta premier.

On May 17, Keean Bexte of The Counter Signal asked MLA Devin Dreeshen how quickly grocery prices and utility bills would fall if a new federal government revoked the federal carbon tax.

"It doesn't just hurt our bank account, or when we buy groceries or fuel up our vehicles or heat our homes, it hurts our international competitiveness," he said.

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