Guest commentary – Albertans getting clobbered at the pumps

Colin Craig, Alberta Director
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Twenty seven dollars!

That’s how much Albertans are paying in carbon taxes each time they fill up their Dodge minivan at the gas pumps.

Those driving a Nissan Rogue will spend about $20 in carbon taxes for each fill up while Ford F150 owners will pay about $31 in carbon taxes per fill.

You get the picture – those carbon taxes aren’t cheap.

How is Premier Rachel Notley government’s new 6.73 cent per litre carbon tax costing taxpayers so much money? It’s not…but we need to remember, it’s not alone.

Albertans are paying a lot more in taxes at the pumps than merely Notley’s official carbon tax. There’s also a 13 cent per litre provincial excise tax, a 10 cent per litre federal excise tax and the five per cent GST is applied on top of the price of gas and all the other taxes. Yes, it’s a tax on top of the other taxes.

So while the pump price may say $1.24 per litre, taxes actually represent about 35.7 cents per litre.

Carbon tax advocates probably won’t like all taxes at the pumps being categorized as carbon taxes. Yet, carbon tax advocates also suggest that taxing gasoline helps reduce consumption and emissions. So why shouldn’t we include look at the big picture? If it quacks like a carbon tax…

Everyday Albertans don’t really care about the name of the tax they pay, they’re just concerned about how much money is leaving their pockets.

But here’s the real kicker. Can you guess what our neighbours south of the border are paying in taxes at the pumps?

In Montana, their tax bill works out to about 17 cents per litre of gas. That’s less than half of what Albertans are paying in taxes. In Idaho, drivers only pay 14 cents per litre in taxes at the pumps.

With those figures in mind, it’s incredible to think that Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want Canadians to pay even higher taxes at the pumps. All they are doing is making you poorer.

The two politicians claim they’re saving the planet. Let’s run with their theory for a minute.

Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions are only 1.6 per cent of the planet’s total annual emissions from human activity.

Even if every Canadian in the country magically stopped driving their cars tomorrow, the global impact would be negligible. Unless large countries like China and the United States – which make up 40 per cent of global emissions – actually start to reduce their emissions [something they’re not doing], we’re not accomplishing a thing.

A more taxpayer-friendly approach to the situation would be to focus on initiatives like exporting our natural gas to China. This would allow the booming Asian country to reduce its reliance of coal-powered electricity – a move that would help clean up China’s blistering smog problem, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and create jobs in Canada at the same time.

So the next time you’re filling up your vehicle at the pumps, remember that the government is taking a good chunk of the money you hand over.

It’s time to scrap the premier’s new carbon tax. You’re already paying enough in taxes.

 

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