There’s really no way around it: gas is expensive.
Whether it’s natural gas you’re after ( Enbridge appears poised to institute a hike this July ) or the kind that fuels your vehicle, there’s no way to avoid the constantly rising costs. Well, almost no way.
Those sick of paying too much at the pumps (prices were hovering around $1.25 per litre Wednesday), staring at yet another record high for crude oil, likely heeded the Canadian Taxpayers Federation ‘s call for protest on the organization’s annual Gas Tax Honesty Day.
The idea? Get the government to chip off a nickel from its tax on gas, something which makes up roughly a third of the price of gasoline.
The other aim is to inform Canadians about how much they pay in gas taxes, and what that money is used for.
“In Ontario last year the average price was $1.11 … and 31 per cent of that was tax,” said Kevin Gaudet, Ontario Director of the CTF. “That’s about 32 cents a litre.”
Gaudet also refutes government claims that it’s not getting richer with each record boost in prices. Ontario pulls in $4 billion in gas taxes every year.
“Every time the price of gas goes up 10 cents the government gets another $150 million,” he charges.
Federation director John Williamson went even further, arguing Canadians have been shelling out an average of $1.16 per litre over the past 12 months – a stunning boost of 17 cents over last year’s average.
The CTF is also drawing attention to the issue Wednesday by reimbursing some drivers with the extra cash they pay out at the pumps as a demonstration of just how deep they say the government’s hands are in their pockets.
Wednesday marks the 10th annual Gas Tax Honesty Day..
Perhaps the lone bright spot, according to Gaudet, is that at least federally a portion of the additional revenue is being rerouted into road maintenance and upkeep.
“We’ve been advocating … that the government do two things,” he said.
“That it take its 10 cents a litre tax and give half of it back to motorists in a tax break and allocate the other half to roads bridges and highway reconstruction. As of next year they will have complied with our recommendation.”
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are currently the only provinces to mandate gas taxes.
To see how much gas is costing you because of taxes or to read the Canadian Taxpayer Federations’ full report, click here .