You know how long people have been talking about the price of gas? Almost as long as talking about the weather and that’s a long, long time. If you were around in 1973 you might remember the oil crisis caused by a price increase from OPEC that pushed our price at the pump up to 63 cents per gallon. There are 3.8 litres in a U.S. gallon. You do the math. 40 years ago in 1978 after we (theoretically) went metric, gas was 20 cents per litre. I did one of these Coffeetalks in 2004 where I mentioned gas prices were at an all-time high and speculation was we would soon be paying over a dollar per litre. I went on to say we shouldn’t always dump on the oil companies for higher prices because so much of what we pay is tax. There’s a federal excise tax affixed to every litre we buy and then there are provincial and federal fuel taxes computed, after which there is GST and PST on everything. Therefore we actually pay taxes on taxes which in principle is not fair but what can you do? Theoretically the federal taxes we pay go toward the Gas Tax Fund for municipal infrastructure while provincial gas tax revenue goes to fund road repair and construction and a portion is distributed directly to municipalities. It’s good to keep this in mind because prices have been on the upswing lately and, if you plan to head west over the Rockies this summer you might want to talk to your bank about an increase in your credit limit.
That’s Coffeetalk. I’m Vic Dubois.