It’s not just the carbon tax: pump expert says ‘gas bar shenanigans’ causing increased prices in Manitoba

The federal government’s controversial carbon tax kicked in April 1 in four provinces, including Manitoba, resulting in a cost increase of about 4.4 cents a litre for gasoline.

…but what about the other gas taxes drivers are already paying?

The average driver in Manitoba is spending more than $500 a year on annual gas taxes per vehicle, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

In last year’s Gas Tax Honesty Report, the CTF said that of the just over $1,600 an average driver in this province spends on fuel, $247 goes to provincial taxes, while $277 goes to federal taxes. A further $20 or so is a tax-on-tax fee.

Your province and city, however can make a big difference. While a Manitoba driver paid an average of $525 in tax annually, in Montreal, the same person would be paying $971 in taxes.

To break it down further, with the addition of the gas tax, if gas is at $1.25 a litre, 46 cents is tax, 48 cents is for crude, and 31 cents is for marketing, refining and profit.

Of that 46 cents, about four cents is gas tax, 20 cents is provincial taxes, and 22 cents goes to the federal gas tax.

Dan McTeague of told 680 CJOB that even before the carbon tax came into play, many gas retailers were selling gas at or below cost.

“I call it #gasbarshenanigans,” said McTeague, “where gas bars are buying fuel and selling it for cost or less. You’ve gotta sell a lot of beef jerky to make up the difference.”

McTeague said many local gas stations aren’t making much profit on gas sales and can’t afford to lower their prices if they want to stay in business.

“(Gas costs the local stations) about 83.2 cents a litre,” he said.

“Now, there are discounts to that, so some might be getting it at 82, 81 cents… but the reality is when you break that all down, the retailer gets about 8 cents, 9 cents, which isn’t a lot.”

Overall, though, even on a day like Thursday, with Winnipeg’s gas prices hitting $1.26 per litre, McTeague says drivers in the prairies are still getting a decent shake at the pumps compared to, say, Vancouver.

“Be fortunate you’re not living in Vancouver,” he said. “They’re breaking all-time records there.

“It’s going to be an expensive year. Gasoline is back and diesel is even higher, so both of those factors are going to affect people’s bottom lines.”

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