The Alberta government announced Tuesday it will be suspending the provincial fuel tax for six months starting January.
The suspension means Albertans will save 13 cents at the pumps between Jan. 1 and June 30., the province said in a news release.
“These are meaningful savings that will have a real impact on Albertans’ finances. For example, if you drive a pickup truck and fill up once a week, you’ll save about $440 on average in the next six months. If you drive a car or an SUV, you’ll save anywhere from $160 to just over $300,” said Finance Minister Travis Toews in the release.
“Reducing the cost of fuel benefits all Alberta drivers. It becomes more affordable to transport goods and products, to go to work and visit loved ones, to run errands and drive children to school.”
The tax suspension was introduced during the throne speech in November at the start of the fourth session of the legislative assembly and is intended to help Albertans with costs as inflation continues to plague people across the province.
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The provincial fuel charge is a charge on gas and diesel, and is different than the federal fuel tax, which is the carbon tax “rebranded,” explained University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe.
“The proceeds from the provincial fuel tax is just general revenues. It’s not earmarked for anything in particular, but instead just goes into the pot like any other tax,” he said. “Currently, given high resource revenues, the government has the room to forego fuel tax revenues,” which add up to about $1.3 billion over a full year.