Gas Tax and Fresh Air Tax
Should vehicle buyers be put through a stress test in case gas taxes rise?
Chilliwack councillor Chris Kloot spoke about the possibility of artificially inflated fuel taxes in the Fraser Valley.
t's not far from
the truth that the only thing politicians do is find new ways to
But at the council meeting on Tuesday Chilliwack councillor Kloot stepped outside the box when he stated that he wanted a letter sent from the mayor's office to the Competition Bureau regarding a conflict in gas prices between Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
He said that Chilliwack was paying the same gas tax as Vancouver is and wondered if the money was funding Translink's transit system there.
Enter the Gasoline Stress Test. Should automobile and truck sellers require buyers take a stress test when purchasing a $30,000 car or $50,000 pickup like people buying a house are subject to in order to see if their budgets can withstand increases?
"I, and I'm sure many others in the community, have some serious concerns regarding the rising cost of gas within our community and I guess it raises some questions from me as of this morning on gasbuddy.com prices in the Vancouver area range between $1.56/L and $163.9/L and here in the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack we were $1.589/L $1.67/L," said Kloot. "So how is it possible that we are not remotely part of Vancouver where they have 17˘ tax for Translink and we are paying very similar prices," said Kloot.
Kloot said he found it bizarre that the provincial government is taking the federal government to court over the pipeline issue which he said included a comment from Alberta's new premier that they would "turn the taps off".
"So the attorney general of BC indicated if that were to happen that there would be a legal challenge, but in the meantime we as consumers are going to keep paying more and it's not even in the summer driving season, and we have the highest prices in North America in this region."
A September 2018
headline from a Vancouver print media outlet said "Vancouver
drivers getting hit with 1.5 cents per litre gas tax hike".
Kloot's main concern is that he wants retailers and wholesalers to "conduct themselves in a fair manner" and rightfully so.
A lot of people feel that when you buy an expensive new vehicle and you can't afford a 17˘ fuel tax increase then you shouldn't have bought the vehicle and should park it and take public transit.
When council backed a light rail project plan recently, councilor Bud Mercer asked about a tax such as one on gas to pay for it but was told there wouldn't be.
If people are playing political chess with taxes, then maybe they can add a Fresh Air Tax so the City can try to find ways to mitigate the pollution problem because right now the air in downtown Chilliwack is so polluted you can see it and assuredly that will shorten the lifespan of anyone living there. How about adding more tax on fuel so it would help pay for the medical costs associated with asthma and other health issues caused by air pollution?
Finally, maybe add yet more tax to fuel because that would encourage more people to take public transit which is something every politician in Chilliwack raves about but none do because there's no bus up Young Road and the bike rack there remains empty at council meetings.