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WHEREAS the average cost of a litre of regular gasoline in the Edmonton region, from September 18, 2007 to September 16, 2008, was approximately $1.13; and WHEREAS the average price of regular gasoline in the Edmonton region has increased by over 36 cents in the past 52 weeks; and WHEREAS regular gasoline prices in the Edmonton Region have remained at over $1.20 per litre since April 29, 2008; and WHEREAS the high gasoline prices create an unfair and inequitable financial advantage for urban residents over rural residents due to the increased number of kilometers rural residents travel to conduct their daily activities; and WHEREAS a rural resident fuel rebate program would positively impact the cost of living expenses experienced by rural residents and create a fair and equitable cost of living for both urban and rural residents;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Province of Alberta to create a Rural Residents Fuel Rebate Program that provides the rural residents of Alberta with a 25 cent per litre rebate on gasoline and a 19 cent per litre rebate on diesel fuel purchased.
Current financial pressures on Albertas rural residents have been the subject of municipality discussions and have been the subject of municipal requests to the Province for immediate and direct intervention. In an effort to identify avenues to avert potentially impending crises, the Province must be looking for ways to ensure that the distance a resident lives from their service area does not negatively impact their cost of living or create an unfair or inequitable advantage for urban residents over rural residents. As a matter of policy, the Province currently is offering a Tax Exempt Fuel Use for several industry sectors including oil and gas drilling, production and exploration of oil and gas geophysical or seismic data industries, the Alberta Farm Fuel Benefit Program and the Farm Fuel Distribution Allowance, in recognition of the importance of those activities to the welfare of the province. The health of residents in rural Alberta is at least as important since the loss of rural residents to urban centres would adversely impact rural municipalities from both revenue generation and economic sustainability perspectives. This fuel rebate program intends to improve the ability of Albertas rural municipalities to attract and retain rural residents by having the tax they pay on gasoline and diesel fuel rebated to them in order to support the long-term health of the local and provincial economies.
Resolution 32-05F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request the Province of Alberta eliminate the provincial portion of tax on fuel used in municipal operations. See also the Fall 2008 resolution Fuel Tax Rebate.