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article imageGas Consumers Got An Instant Refund Yesterday From The Canadian Taxpayers Federation

By KJ Mullins     May 15, 2008 in Business
Yesterday across Canada some lucky people were getting an instant refund at the gas pump. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation was giving consumers back the amount of the gas tax to highlight what they say is government gorging.
With the gas tax at 28% a lot of the money that goes into your tank goes straight to the government.
"You're kidding," Wrigley said when federation director John Williamson offered him $23 - the equivalent to the tax the Halifax retiree paid on the $71.80 it cost him to fill up his Hyundai Sonata.
"I didn't think it was that much, but I knew it was high," said the 65-year-old.
Wednesday was the 10th annual gas tax honesty day. The federation was handing out the tax refunds to call out to the government to lower gas taxes and for them to spend more money on the roads in Canada.
Gas prices have been steadily raising this past year, up 17 cents from last year. For each litre that is pumped into cars 10 cents goes straight to the federal government. Last year those 10 cent per litres gave the coffers an extra $4 billion.
Williamson said that Ottawa spent 37 percent of the gas tax revenue on roads this year. Next year that will increase to 52 percent. That may help take away a couple of the many potholes lining the highways.
Still Williamson calls for the government to do away with 1995's "deficit elimination tax" that charges an additional 1.5 cents per litre of gas.
Lawmakers in Ottawa and across this country will often point their fingers at big oil and suggest there's nothing they can do to control the pump price," Williamson said.
"But we suggest there is actually a lot lawmakers can do both at the provincial level and federally."
Don't hold your breath that any changes will be happening soon though. There are no plans to reduce gas taxes according to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
"We already reduced the cost of gasoline by two per cent (through) the reduction of the GST," Flaherty said.
More about Gas tax, Canadian taxpayers federation, Refunds
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