Taxpayers are feeling uneasy as provincial cabinet ministers are fuelling the debate to increase taxes at the pumps, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Thursday.
Scott Hennig, an Alberta director with the group, says taxpayers will not put up with another hike at the pumps, especially after the government admitted that it needs to find $2 billion in “fiscal corrections” before next year’s budget.
“A couple provincial cabinet ministers have openly suggested the province might consider a sales tax, a five per cent per litre gas tax increase and hiking income taxes,” said Hennig during a news conference at a gas station near 99 Avenue and 109 Street.
“Albertans currently enjoy an advantage over our neighbours when it comes to gas prices, but that advantage will be lost if the Stelmach government hikes gas taxes.”
Health Minister Ron Liepert has suggested to reporters that a gas tax increase of five per cent could be implemented by the government and that it would create $400 million in revenue.
Roughly 25 per cent of the pump price is taxes to the federal and provincial governments, but if the province decides to hike taxes by five cents, Alberta motorists would face a four per cent jump in taxes, suggests Hennig.
The federation also unveiled a petition to encourage the government to think twice about hiking gas taxes Thursday, on its 11th annual Gas Tax Honesty Day.
The petition will be given to Alberta’s government before next year’s budget is released, said Hennig.