PEI

3-month gasoline tax break 'a political ploy' says Opposition

Prince Edward Islanders will get a break on gasoline taxes in the first three months of 2019, which the Opposition describes as the government playing political games with the tax system.

Federal government has delayed its carbon tax implementation date

Gas is going to be a little cheaper in January, before jumping back up in April. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

Prince Edward Islanders will get a break on gasoline taxes in the first three months of 2019, which the Opposition describes as the government playing political games with the tax system.

The provincial government had already announced it intends to lower its taxes to offset the coming federally-required carbon tax on gasoline.

As it turns out, the provincial tax break will come in advance of the carbon tax being implemented. 

The provincial tax will drop 3.4 cents per litre for gas and 4.3 cents per litre for diesel on Jan. 1. The carbon tax, 4.4 cents for gas and 5.3 cents for diesel, comes into effect April 1.

The province said Ottawa delayed the required start date for the carbon tax, but P.E.I. decided to go forward with the price drop on Jan. 1 anyway. 

A spokesperson for the province said the current state of P.E.I.'s finances allows for the three month tax break. 

On Dec. 4 in debate in the House, finance minister Heath MacDonald said dropping taxes for three months would cost the province, "approximately $3 million [in lost revenues], maybe a little less than that."

"It's obviously a political ploy with an election coming up," said Opposition leader James Aylward.

"They're trying to give as many goodies out to the electorate as possible."

More P.E.I. news

With files from Kerry Campbell

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