Gas tax decrease not reflected in prices

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 First at 5, January 2, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Gas is nothing compared to what it was just a few months ago, but Georgia drivers are seeing their gas taxes decrease even more. The change went into affect January 1st but you won't be seeing the difference quite yet.

Augusta gas taxes may have gone down about 9 cents between state and local taxes, but the price of gasoline jumped up 9 cents overnight. Leaving us standing in the same place.

The pain at the pump isn't so painful anymore and it just got even better.
At the start of the year, the Georgia state gas tax dropped 4 cents, combined with local tax cuts that means, in Augusta, you'll save 9 cents.

John Butler is the president for locally owned and operated MarKo Petroleum/Polo BP Food Stores. He sets the price for their Augusta BP stations and he knows how important his job is to you.

"It's a few pennies, but it means a lot to a lot of people, over a period of time," says John.

And his job has been much simpler since gas climbed over the 4 dollar mark. "This is a good rate right now for a gallon of gas. This is good, this is doable for a lot of people and hopefully we'll be able to keep it here but we only have control of so much," says John,

And they have no control over the gas taxes. Georgia drivers are paying on eight different taxes -- some going to federal, local, and state governments. Other's going to Georgia education and other fees.

According to John -- South Carolina pays only state and federal, and can charge less for the same product. "By the Governor lowering the price of gasoline it is keeping us in line, or pretty close to South Carolina. Which is a benefit," says John.

Something else they can't control are the raw gas prices. They change every minute, based on supply and demand. But john says the overnight 9 cent jump has canceled out that new year's tax break.

"The price of gasoline changes every day. Usually it doesn't go up that much. I mean, it went up 10 cents. That's a pretty big jump," says John.

Another reason you may not be seeing that price drop you expected is because of the Holiday. Most gas stations didn't get shipments on New Years Day, and some could be still selling gas they bought in 2008, at the increased tax rate.


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