Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Taxes You Pay At The Gas Pump In BC

When you fill up your car in BC
you pay 43.1 cents in taxes or nearly 38% of your purchase

A Nanaimo Info blog reader sent along the following information taken from an MSN post explaining why there is a difference between the rate of falling crude prices and the price we pay at the pumps.

It is interesting that British Columbia takes the biggest 'bite' at the pump. The carbon tax, not charged by any other province can be thanked for that dubious distinction. Of course everyone gladly pays a 'carbon' tax so we can save the planet. Does anyone know where the carbon tax actually goes? Something like those Medical Service Premiums that just get dumped into general revenue?

If you go to the MSN post you will find the stats for all provinces, since we are affected by the taxes levied in BC that is all I am relaying here. So, after the municipality, the province, the feds, income tax, the PST, the GST, the HST takes it's bite and you pull into the local gas station they suck another 43.1 cents out of your pocket with every litre of gas you put into your car.

I can't be the only one this aggravates, just a little??

Why don’t gas prices match crude price drop? Over the past two years, the price of crude oil fell from a high of more than (US)$107/barrel to a low about (US)$26/barrel – a decline of more than 75%. Over the same period, the average retail price of gasoline in Canada fell by less than 40%. (All figures from GasBuddy.com)

British Columbia – 43.1 cents/litre

Fixed Federal tax - $0.10; Fixed Provincial tax - $0.145; Sales Tax (HST) – 11.67% Carbon tax - $.0667;
Current retail price - $1.141/litre; Total tax - $0.431/litre (37.8%)
British Columbia has the second highest taxes for fuel in the country at 43.1 cents per litre, in large part because of a 6.67-cent/litre carbon tax that no other province applies - yet. However, if in Metro Vancouver, there is an additional 11 cent city transit/carbon tax which raises that total to 54.1 cents per litre. The provincial capital of Victoria does something similar, although it is only 3.5 cents a litre, meaning a total of 46.6 cents.

Much of BC’s wholesale price is influenced by west-coast American states. The province has two refineries: a Husky-owned one in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, and a Chevron refinery in Prince George, which is much farther north and well into the interior. 

Now, if we can just figure out how all the gas retail 'competitors' in Nanaimo seem able to arrive at the same price all the time we might be onto something. By the way, in Courtenay they are pumping for 1.07 today!



  1. I think you might have the locations of British Columbia's 2 remaining refineries reversed - Chevron is in Burnaby and Husky is in Prince George.

  2. As far as your last paragraph goes, it's actually quite simple. Gas stations sell basically only ONE product and they usually post the price of that ONE product on an easy-to-see sign in numbers .6 - .9m (2-3 feet) high. Therefore, there is no mystery in what the 'competitors' are charging and, given that most people believe gasoline to be much the same no matter from whom it is purchased, why would anyone charge a different price (except maybe to 'buy' market share temporarily)?


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