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WHEREAS Alberta farmers are faced with dramatic increases in production costs due to increased energy costs which could cause family farms to shut down;AND WHEREAS companies that produce products such as agricultural chemicals or fertilizers required by the agriculture industry are also faced with drastic increases in energy costs, but recognize that passing these costs on to consumers may not be possible, as the agriculture industry may not be able to manage any increase in the costs of these products;AND WHEREAS the producers of chemicals and fertilizers have indicated that they will be shutting down production of the fertilizers and chemicals;AND WHEREAS a portion of the energy costs include provincial taxes charged on fuels;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the provincial government to remove the taxes and royalties charged on farm fuels and fuels used in the production of farm products such as fertilizers or chemicals.
Farmers in Alberta have been overburdened with a number of rising operating costs. A great number of producers have had to learn to do without in their day-to-day operations, thus putting additional stress on their farms, families and themselves.One of the most drastic increases yet is the rise in fertilizer cost. It is estimated that the average cost increase to producers for the 2001 growing season will be approximately $8.00 per acre, with speculation that increases in future years will be even more significant. This increase will be substantial to the family farmer.This increase may lead to producers overtaxing soils that may not receive fertilizer treatment. It may also significantly impact producers planting decisions, as some crops require more nitrogen than others.There is speculation among fertilizer and chemical manufactures that due to drastic increases in costs, their consumers may not be able to afford these products and so therefore production would be shut down. There is also speculation that the only producers that will be able to afford these products are the big corporate farms, leaving the family farms out in the cold
The AAMDC has a number of resolutions in effect calling for increased federal support for the agricultural sector, as well as enhancements or revisions to various provincial and federal support programs. However, the association has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to the specific issue of provincial taxes and royalites on farm fuels and other farm input costs.