Let gas stations advertise per gallon price without taxes included

Why not? Every day we buy products like computers, clothing, and cups of coffee where the advertised price does not include sales tax. Advertisements for rental cars and hotels don’t include taxes either. I guess airline tickets do include taxes … not sure why gas and airline tickets are different than everything else.

I understand sales tax is a bit different than the Connecticut gasoline tax (25 cents), gross receipts tax (7.26 percent) and the federal excise tax (18.4 cents), but people need to know today’s average price of $3.82 would be advertised at $3.32 plus state and federal tax. Four years ago gas in Connecticut was at a previous five year – for a short time – low of about $1.69 per gallon with the same tax rate giving us a price of $1.19 per gallon.

Would this change make a difference? I don’t think so, the price would be advertised and right next to the price it would say “plus tax.” They could even put a sticker detailing the taxes that need to be added. Adults should be able to add.

Interested in your thoughts as to why gasoline is advertised with price included (other than government mandates). How would that change the “psyche” of consumers that buy gas? Would it effect how some perceive “big oil?”


The price of gasoline

Average gasoline prices have risen by 17 cents in July.  And, given yesterday’s fire at a Chevron refinery in California, prices will rise even further.  Most will blame “big oil” (don’t you just love it that “someone” must be blamed for everything in this country).  Before you do so, read on. Read more

Just saying… Government collects about $60 billion a year on sales of gasoline at the pump

In 2010, the United States consumed about 3.28 billion barrels of gasoline. With 42 gallons per barrel, that’s 137.8 billion gallons. There are state and federal taxes collected at the pump. How much did government collect?

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Did they really say that?

Two articles caught my eye this past week. In the first, we learn that Fannie Mae will be asking you, the taxpayer to cough up another $4.6 billion to make up for recent losses. Read more

Gas prices “inching up” or “through the roof” – depends on White House resident

When thinking about media coverage concerning gas prices, how different are the approaches today as compared to 2008 when prices went through similar increases?

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Can your car handle more ethanol?

It seems appropriate on Earth Day to write about a story that received little publicity last week, but which could have a major impact on you. The EPA is considering a petition to allow gasoline to contain as much as 15 percent ethanol, up from the current 10 percent. Hence, before you buy a second-hand gas-guzzling metal piece, perhaps you could consider via het schade verleden to see if it lives up to the mark.

The 10 percent figure was selected years ago because testing showed that no damage would occur to vehicles using that mixture.  Beyond that percentage, things got a bit fuzzy.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering why the EPA is headed in that direction.  Well, here’s the answer in a nut shell:

An oversupply of ethanol has prompted a wave of bankruptcies and made the ethanol industry eager to expand its market. Ethanol producers are being squeezed as corn prices stay relatively high and as ethanol prices stay relatively low. Todd Alexander, a partner at Chadbourne & Parke LLP, estimates that some ethanol producers are losing up to 10 cents on every gallon of ethanol.

Actually, that statistic should not come as any real surprise given the price of gasoline today, and the fact that it costs (according to a 2005 Department of Agriculture report) $2.53 to produce a gallon of ethanol.

But, not satisfied with the EPA’s somewhat slow process (by law, it has until December 1 to make a decision on the petition), the ethanol industry has turned to Congress for help. Some lawmakers have held meetings with the EPA designed to “urge” the EPA to allow blends of 12 percent to 13 percent immediately pending the decision on the 15 percent figure.

There is only one small problem with either “fix” for the ethanol industry’s dilemma.

Auto makers offer so-called flex-fuel vehicles designed to accept up to 85% ethanol fuels. But many current and older model cars aren’t designed for ethanol concentrations above 10%.

And, as a result, most car warranties use that standard when it comes to fuel system components.

Too much ethanol can, among other things, cause corrosion in a car’s fuel delivery pipes. To that end, when speaking about the proposed increase in allowable ethanol, Alan Adler, a spokesman for General Motors has said, “we want to make sure we’re not on the hook for vehicles” still under warranty should a problem arise in the fuel system.

No one disagrees with the fact that this country should become more energy independent. But, to enact a regulation that will put more money in the pockets of a company like Archer Daniels Midland, one of our larger ethanol producers, by reducing the “oversupply” of ethanol, but which could put all of our existing car warranties in jeopardy seems more than a bit foolish.

Were I the EPA I would want an agreement from every car manufacturer that they will honor the existing warranty should a problem arise with a 15 percent ethanol mix before I mandated a 15 percent mix. But, then again, that’s just me.

Emotion will not help you understand fuel prices

Gas prices go up. Gas prices go down. Those of you who think there is a daily 7 a.m. ET conference call where the executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and Sunoco decide what the price of gas should be that day are wrong. Fuel prices, just like any other world commodity, are driven by the market. Primarily this would be the laws of supply and demand.

During the past couple of weeks, there has been plenty of discussion concerning price gouging, the evil act of gas station owners taking advantage of you during your time of need. This post will convince you that a quick rise in prices during a supply crisis can be a good thing.

That’s right, I’m going to buck the trend, got out on a limb and be politically incorrect; then you’re going to agree with me and use the E-mail This Post feature to send it to everyone you know.

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Republicans Block Fuel Price Increase Proposed by Democrats

At least that’s how the headline should read. Liberals have not learned anything in decades, all they know how to do is tug at the heartstrings of the working family and promote feel-good legislation that does nothing.

Point in fact; when you increase the tax burden on a business, the business is forced to make decisions. The business owners and leaders can choose to pay those extra expenses directly from profits (screw the shareholders or business owners), raise prices (screw the consumer) or cut compensation and benefits (screw the employees).

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