Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gas Tax

It has generally been accepted over the years that government taxes on gasoline should be used for road construction and repair or other infrastructure projects. The federal government’s expected plans to change the rules as to how these taxes can be used may apparently fund a major NHL hockey arena in Quebec City.

Currently, cities and towns can access a shared fund of over $2 billion from the federal gas taxes you pay when you fill up at the pumps. Municipalities have the right to choose how they spend these funds. Until now the government has been clear that the funds are to be used for infrastructure projects like roads, sewers and water treatment systems. Apparently, federal government plans to change the rules will expand what municipal projects qualify to access the gas tax fund.

I expect there will be problems if a municipality funds entertainment projects with the gasoline tax. Especially, when they hike your taxes to fund repairs and improvements for roads, sewers and water treatment facilities. Does it make sense to fund entertainment facilities with gas tax revenue in the face of deteriorating infrastructures across the country? Watch for this issue at the next election and you decide.  Read more