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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Islanders will ring in the new year with a break at the pumps, thanks in part to early implementation of provincial tax cuts meant to offset a federally mandated carbon tax.
The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission announced at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, that gas prices will decrease by two cents per litre. Diesel prices will drop by four cents per litre, while furnace and stove oil prices will fall by three cents per litre.
Propane prices will, however, increase by 1.5 cents per litre for Irving Energy Distribution, or by 0.8 cents per litre for Superior Propane. Kenmac Energy Inc. prices will remain unchanged.
The price drops will be in addition to a 3.4-cent-per-litre drop in excise gasoline taxes, and a 4.3-cent-per-litre drop in taxes on diesel due to take effect Jan. 1. The drops in excise taxes were initially announced as an offset to a 4.4 cent per litre increase in taxes on gas and a 5.3 cent per litre increase in taxes on diesel as part of a federal carbon tax regime.
However, the federal carbon taxes do not take effect until April of 2019.
In December, Finance Minister Heath MacDonald said the excise tax cuts for the first three months of 2019 will cost the province approximately $3 million in lost revenue.
In all, pump prices for regular, unleaded gasoline will now range from 95.7 cents per litre to 96.8 cents per litre. Diesel prices will range from 114.7 to 115.8 cents per litre, while before tax prices for propane will range from 78.3 to 79.0 cents per litre.
The maximum before-tax price for furnace oil will now amount to 84.4 cents per litre.
The commission’s next scheduled price adjustment will be on Jan. 15.