Mike Smyth: Breaking down where your gas money goes
It’s always cringe-inducing to hear Premier John Horgan plead with the federal government to do something about soaring Metro Vancouver gas prices, the highest in North America.
Horgan was at it again Monday, blaming the feds for a lack of fuel-refining capacity in B.C.
“Let’s make more (refined gasoline) here, creating more jobs here and relieving the enormous pressure on the travelling public,” he said.
Say what? He’s worried about pressure on drivers? At the same time he jacks up the carbon tax on every litre of gas sold in B.C.?
The Horgan government increased the carbon tax on April 1, and it now stands at 7.78 cents per litre. On a typical 50-litre fill-up at a gas station, you’re now paying nearly four bucks in B.C. carbon tax alone.
The carbon tax used to be “revenue neutral” meaning the government was legally required to lower other taxes to offset it.
The NDP changed the law, and now the entire carbon tax flows directly into the coffers of government with no neutral offset required.
The provincial bite at the gas pump doesn’t end with the carbon tax.
There’s also the B.C. Transportation Financing Authority fuel tax of 6.75 cents a litre. And the general B.C. Motor Fuel Tax of 1.75 cents a litre.
Then in Metro Vancouver, you have the whopping TransLink fuel tax: another 17 cents a litre, or $8.50 per fill-up.
And now Horgan wants the federal government to ease your pain? Good grief.
Of course, the federal taxman has to get his piece of the action. So you also pay the federal fuel excise tax of 10 cents a litre.
The sour cherry on top is the five-per-cent federal GST, which is charged on top of your total gas purchase, including all the other taxes.
That’s right: You pay tax on your gas taxes.
Would refining more fuel in B.C. ease prices? Sure, but publishing tycoon David Black has been trying for six years now to get his refinery project off the ground with no success.
Now Horgan says he’s in talks with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee about expanding refinery capacity south of the border.
Yes, this is the same Washington state that refines million of barrels of diluted bitumen pumped through British Columbia from Alberta via the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
No wonder Horgan says he would continue to allow 22 million tonnes of bitumen to flow through B.C. a year, at the same time he says the stuff is dangerous to the environment and human health as he fights the pipeline’s expansion.
The hypocrisy — like the price at the pump — is breathtaking.