Advertisement

Canadian Taxpayers Federation releases annual gas tax report

As of noon on Thursday, the average gas price in the Okanagan was roughly on par with Vancouver despite higher fuel taxes there.
As of noon on Thursday, the average gas price in the Okanagan was roughly on par with Vancouver despite higher fuel taxes there. Global News

Feel like you’re getting squeezed every time you fuel your vehicle in the Okanagan?

Statistics from a new report show that gas should be cheaper in B.C.’s Southern Interior than Greater Vancouver, but it isn’t.

On Thursday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released its 22nd annual gas tax honesty report.

READ MORE: Lowest Saskatchewan gas prices in years possible this summer: analyst

The detailed 15-page report delves into the price of fuel, including how much taxes are paid in Vancouver, Victoria and the rest of B.C.

The short version:

  • Residents in Vancouver pay 51 cents in taxes per litre.
  • Residents in Victoria pay 44 cents in taxes per litre.
  • Residents in the rest of B.C. pay 38 cents in taxes per litre.
Click to play video 'Gas prices jump by 16 cents per litre at many gas stations in the Okanagan' Gas prices jump by 16 cents per litre at many gas stations in the Okanagan
Gas prices jump by 16 cents per litre at many gas stations in the Okanagan – Apr 29, 2020

In a press release, the CTF called on B.C. Premier John Horgan to scrap the provincial carbon tax.

Story continues below advertisement

“The B.C. carbon tax is applied across the province and it is the highest in Canada at 8.9 cents per litre,” said the press release.

A breakdown of gas taxes in British Columbia.
A breakdown of gas taxes in British Columbia. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation

“The carbon tax costs B.C. drivers about an extra $7 to fill-up their minivans and about $11 extra to fill-up their light duty pick-up trucks.”

The CTF director for B.C., Kris Sims, said “with many people in our province facing economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, every bit of savings helps.”

Click to play video 'Trudeau disagrees with Greens, BQ assessment of oil sector' Trudeau disagrees with Greens, BQ assessment of oil sector
Trudeau disagrees with Greens, BQ assessment of oil sector – May 7, 2020

Sims added “B.C. drivers should know how much they are paying in taxes at the pumps so they can demand gas tax relief from the politicians.”

Story continues below advertisement

As of noon Thursday, the price for one litre of regular gas throughout Kelowna was in lockstep at $1.059, according to the website GasBuddy.com.

Prices were similar throughout the Okanagan and region, though there were a couple of outliers:

  • Kamloops: $1.059 a litre.
  • Revelstoke: $1.149 a litre
  • Salmon Arm: $1.059 a litre
  • Enderby: 99.9 cents to $1.029 a litre.
  • Vernon: $1.029 a litre.
  • Lake Country: $1.059 a litre
  • West Kelowna: $1.059 a litre.
  • Peachland: $1.059 a litre.
  • Summerland: $1.049 a litre
  • Penticton: $1.039 a litre.
  • Oliver: $1.039 a litre.
  • Osoyoos: $1.069 a litre.
  • Grand Forks: $1.059 a litre.
  • Princeton: $1.079 a litre.
Click to play video 'Low oil prices likely to remain for 12-18 months due to oversupply: Alberta premier' Low oil prices likely to remain for 12-18 months due to oversupply: Alberta premier
Low oil prices likely to remain for 12-18 months due to oversupply: Alberta premier – Apr 29, 2020

In Vancouver — where residents pay 13 cents extra a litre in taxes compared to Interior residents — gas prices varied, but many stations had prices around 99.9 cents a litre.

The prices ranged from 95.9 cents a litre to $1.129 a litre, with GasBuddy listing the average price at $1.053.

Story continues below advertisement

While an average price of $1.053 in Vancouver to $1.059 in Kelowna, may not seem like nothing, it’s actually a larger difference when taxes are included.

READ MORE: What do negative oil prices mean for Alberta and Canada’s economy?

Contacted by Global News about the report, Sims was surprised to hear gas in the Okanagan was roughly on par with Vancouver.

“Taxes are one thing, and here in Metro Vancouver, we have the highest tax rates in all of Canada,” said Sims, “because one of the biggest ones, of course, is the TransLink tax –18.5 cents per litre of gasoline.

“Those of you in Kelowna obviously don’t have this TransLink tax, so one would think that you guys should be around 18.5 cents cheaper per litre, but if you’re competing with Vancouver right now for gas prices. Maybe that has something to do with the proximity of the hubs for this refined product.”

Sims said perhaps it costs that much extra to have gas shipped to the Okanagan, “which perhaps petroleum analysts should be able to explain, but, man, that should be a bigger [price] gap, one would think.”
Click to play video 'Alberta energy industry cautiously optimistic about big business support' Alberta energy industry cautiously optimistic about big business support
Alberta energy industry cautiously optimistic about big business support – May 11, 2020