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Calgarians to pay more at the pumps and on property taxes in 2024


The end of the calendar year marks an end to Alberta's gas tax holiday, meaning people will be paying more at the pumps in 2024.

Starting Monday, the Alberta government raised gasoline prices by nine cents per litre.

The tax is tied to the price of oil, and can go as high as 13 cents when the price of West Texas Intermediate is under $80 USD per barrel.

It currently trading around $73 USD per barrel.

In a statement to CTV News, the province says Albertans will continue to save four cents per litre on gas and diesel in the first three months of the year and that they will continue to benefit from lower fuel costs when oil prices are high.

The timing of the fuel tax's reinstatement is something Alberta's Official Opposition doesn't agree with.

"People have had to cut back on Christmas to be able to afford their groceries, so this is actually a terrible time," said NDP MLA and energy critic Kathleen Ganley.

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation is also voicing its opposition to the tax.

It notes the provincial government has a $5.5 billion surplus this year without the fuel tax.

“The Alberta government could afford to extend the fuel tax holiday for another six months, they have a huge surplus. And they're just not doing it and we don't know why,” Kris Sims, the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, said.

The UCP government is expected to give an update on the tax in March.

Meanwhile, Calgarians will also be paying more in the new year on a variety of things such as transit passes and recreation fees.

For example, the city says adult recreation passes are up by $1.70 to $66.90 per month and transit fares are going up by three per cent.

Home owners will also be paying more on their property tax bills after the city approved an increase of 7.8 per cent – a figure that would tack on approximately $16 per month.

Poverty advocates say all those added costs make things difficult for all residents.

"All those smaller fees, like property taxes and transit, just do pile up for people" said Meaghon Reid, executive director with Vibrant Communities Calgary.

"When your wages haven't gone up, it's hard to make ends meet and close that circle."

The UCP government says it will be focusing on affordability issues, including insurance costs and energy prices, when it considers the 2024 budget due out in the spring.

With files from CTV News Lethbridge's Quinn Keenan and CTV News Edmonton Top Stories

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