Canadian Taxpayers Federation releases annual gas tax report

Feel like you’re getting squeezed every time you fuel your vehicle in the Okanagan?

Statistics from a new report show that gas should be cheaper in B.C.’s Southern Interior than Greater Vancouver, but it isn’t.

On Thursday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released its 22nd annual gas tax honesty report.

The detailed 15-page report delves into the price of fuel, including how much taxes are paid in Vancouver, Victoria and the rest of B.C.

The short version:

  • Residents in Vancouver pay 51 cents in taxes per litre.
  • Residents in Victoria pay 44 cents in taxes per litre.
  • Residents in the rest of B.C. pay 38 cents in taxes per litre.

In a press release, the CTF called on B.C. Premier John Horgan to scrap the provincial carbon tax.

“The B.C. carbon tax is applied across the province and it is the highest in Canada at 8.9 cents per litre,” said the press release.

“The carbon tax costs B.C. drivers about an extra $7 to fill-up their minivans and about $11 extra to fill-up their light duty pick-up trucks.”

The CTF director for B.C., Kris Sims, said “with many people in our province facing economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, every bit of savings helps.”

Sims added “B.C. drivers should know how much they are paying in taxes at the pumps so they can demand gas tax relief from the politicians.”

As of noon Thursday, the price for one litre of regular gas throughout Kelowna was in lockstep at $1.059, according to the website

Prices were similar throughout the Okanagan and region, though there were a couple of outliers:

  • Kamloops: $1.059 a litre.
  • Revelstoke: $1.149 a litre
  • Salmon Arm: $1.059 a litre
  • Enderby: 99.9 cents to $1.029 a litre.
  • Vernon: $1.029 a litre.
  • Lake Country: $1.059 a litre
  • West Kelowna: $1.059 a litre.
  • Peachland: $1.059 a litre.
  • Summerland: $1.049 a litre
  • Penticton: $1.039 a litre.
  • Oliver: $1.039 a litre.
  • Osoyoos: $1.069 a litre.
  • Grand Forks: $1.059 a litre.
  • Princeton: $1.079 a litre.

In Vancouver — where residents pay 13 cents extra a litre in taxes compared to Interior residents — gas prices varied, but many stations had prices around 99.9 cents a litre.

The prices ranged from 95.9 cents a litre to $1.129 a litre, with GasBuddy listing the average price at $1.053.

While an average price of $1.053 in Vancouver to $1.059 in Kelowna, may not seem like nothing, it’s actually a larger difference when taxes are included.

Contacted by Global News about the report, Sims was surprised to hear gas in the Okanagan was roughly on par with Vancouver.

“Taxes are one thing, and here in Metro Vancouver, we have the highest tax rates in all of Canada,” said Sims, “because one of the biggest ones, of course, is the TransLink tax –18.5 cents per litre of gasoline.

“Those of you in Kelowna obviously don’t have this TransLink tax, so one would think that you guys should be around 18.5 cents cheaper per litre, but if you’re competing with Vancouver right now for gas prices. Maybe that has something to do with the proximity of the hubs for this refined product.”

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