Albertans will see a partial return of the provincial fuel tax on the price of gasoline and diesel starting on Oct. 1, as retailers have been told by the UCP government to begin collecting 4.5 cents per litre.
Retailers were informed of the change through a special notice sent out by the province on Sept. 21.
The government suspended the full 13 cents per litre tax earlier this year as a way to combat rising fuel prices and tied that relief to the average price of U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) — the benchmark crude for oil prices.
The government used the average closing price over a four-week period leading up to Sept. 15 to determine that price. Over that four-week stretch, WTI averaged $89.26.
The thresholds put in place in the fuel relief program have Albertans getting the full 13 cents per litre off when the price averages higher than $90 per barrel.
Between $85 and $89.99, the fuel tax will be set at 4.5 cents per litre. Between $80 and $84.99, Albertans will be charged nine cents per litre. And any price below $80 per barrel will see the full 13 cents per litre tax reinstated.
“In the first six months of the program, Albertans saved $630,000,000 in fuel tax relief,” Finance Minister Jason Nixon said in a statement.
“Albertans will save over $200,000,000 over the next three months with the fuel tax savings at 8.5 cents per litre,” he added.
The NDP feels this tax hike is coming too soon.
“Albertans are finally seeing a tiny bit of relief and the government is sort of clawing that relief back from them,” NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley said.
The Opposition are calling on the government to extend the full 13 cents per litre savings until the end of January 2023.
“Albertans are still struggling with high inflation, struggling with high utility prices. We think this tiny bit of relief that they’re seeing at the pumps should go to Albertans instead of going to the provincial government.”