Fuel tax plan headed to URB

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - The NDP's controversial gas tax plan for the Amherst area is going to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for study.
Measures were put in place late last week to move gas regulation to the utility and review board for the setting of gas and diesel prices. The change comes into effect Thursday.
Part of that change is a study by the utility and review board of the feasibility of cutting the motive fuel tax in the Amherst area, a key election promise of NDP MLA Brian Skabar.
"It's moving to the URAB with part of the process being to undertake public consultations on the border pricing issue either later in the fall or early next year," Lori Errington of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations said Monday.
Along with the border pricing issue, the board is also expected to hold public hearings on gas price regulation and other issues.
The URAB regulates several areas affecting Nova Scotia consumers and businesses, including electricity, auto insurance, gaming, liquor licensing, assessment and expropriation, film classification and municipal and school board boundaries.
During the election campaign this spring, Skabar said an NDP government would mandate the utility and review board to study the issue and recommend appropriate pricing that would level the playing field retailers in New Brunswick and Amherst.
At the time, the pledge was criticized by Liberal and Conservative politicians for arbitrarily setting a boundary within the province.
Skabar responded by saying a boundary already exists in the form of the toll on the Cobquid Pass.
Skabar has said on several occasions that gas retailers in Amherst cannot compete with those across the border, where the difference in the tax structure, results in a price that's six to eight cents a litre cheaper.

Organizations: NDP, Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • know it all
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Lots of talk - meeting on top of meetings and still they need to have more public meetings - is this just a smoke screen or will they have the balls to drop the price at or below Aulac ? maybe this fall or maybe next spring - they can't even get the time right

  • First Time
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Good 'ole NDP TCB!
    Keep up the good work!!

  • Don
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Brian is at least trying to do something. Ernie couldn't find anyone to listen even if he had given some effort to the issue.