BURNABY (NEWS1130) – BC drivers pay the highest gas prices on the continent and the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation says it has the numbers to prove it.
People in the Lower Mainland will pay the government $1 billion in this year alone, and it’s all thanks to recent increases by TransLink and the province.
Drivers will also pay nearly $0.50 a litre in gas taxes in the Lower Mainland, that’s the highest than anywhere else in North America, and many drivers are definitely frustrated about their much lighter pocketbook.
“I just feel the wages and stuff aren’t going up and we’re still trying to compete with all the taxes. I mean, we’re taxed on everything,” says one woman.
“I’m not surprised; everything is like a big cash grab and it’s really hard on people trying to make a living,” adds another person.
To beat the prices here some people have switched to propane because it’s cheaper, while others will head south of the line.
BC drivers pay the highest taxes thanks to money collected by the federal and provincial governments and for folks living and driving in the Lower Mainland, it is due to levies implemented by TransLink.
“Today on the Port Mann Bridge when I was coming across, why the heck am I going to have to pay tolls on that bridge this fall? When these guys are getting $1 billion a year in gas taxes from Lower Mainland drivers,” says Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
He also has a strong message for the government. “We want them to understand, drivers are sick and tired of being a drive-thru ATM. We need help. We need relief from these taxes and we need this money to go to road projects, which they were intended for in the first place.”
Last year, government took $958 million from drivers in gas taxes, but with the two cent a litre increase in TransLink tax, and the 1.1 cent increase in carbon tax pushes the amount of money going to the government to $1.02 billion dollars.
Two other reasons why BC drivers are feeling the pinch at the pump: the Harmonized Sales Tax and of course the carbon tax, which will go up on July 1st.