+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 6-01S

GST on Utilities

January 1, 2001
Expiry Date:
March 31, 2004
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS there have been enormous increases in utility costs lately, in particular with regard to natural gas and electricity;AND WHEREAS the private sector is at least able to include GST as input costs to their business expense;AND WHEREAS residential utility customers are not afforded such an option;AND WHEREAS in the transition from the old Federal Sales Tax (FST) to the GST it was deemed that water and sewer utility billings were not subject to GST;AND WHEREAS natural gas and electricity fees have skyrocketed, albeit lessened by generous provincial rebates, the GST is based on the gross billing, not the net billing;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the federal government to eliminate the GST on utilities essential for residential properties;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC seek the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Government of Alberta in encouraging the federal government to act on this important matter.

Member Background:

Albertans have suffered greatly lately with increasing costs for electricity and natural gas. These increases have been further impacted by the increased GST paid to the federal government.When the GST was created, water and sewer utility bills were zero-rated, to recognize the fact that these services were considered exempt under the old Federal Sales Tax (FST).There are essentials to living with food and shelter at the top of the list. It does not seem reasonable that, due to volatile fluctuations in utility costs, governments should reap extraordinary revenues at the expense of their citizens trying to cope with extraordinary, unpredictably high fluctuations in utility costs.

RMA Background:

The AAMDC currently has no resolutions in effect with respect to this issue.

Provincial Ministries:
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
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