Gas prices...they just keep going up

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 28, 2008

There's no doubt about it: every time you fill up the gas tank, your pockets get a little lighter. But how much of the price is for gas tax?

"This hurts, it does hurt!" says James Rachels, as he fills up his SUV at a gas station in North Augusta.

He remembers the good ol' days.

"Years ago, you used to buy gas at 59 cents per gallon. You'll never see those prices again," James says. "I had a 1971 Dodge Charger and I could drive from here to West Palm Beach -- you're not going to believe this, you're really not -- for $15."

But today, the same trip, about 450 miles, costs a whole lot more.

"I think it's outrageous," says James.

A bargain in North Augusta. A sign near I-20 and Exit 1 says regular is "97"...$2.97 a gallon, that is.

"It's ridiculous, I got to say that," says James.

But almost 17 cents of each gallon goes to the South Carolina gas sales tax.

"I think it should go on our roads," says James.

And that's exactly where it goes, 16 cents of it. The rest, for an environmental impact fee.

Across the river in Georgia, prices are no better. At our first stop we find a price at $3.03. A second stop, 4 cents more at $3.07.

We asked driver Wayne Murray, "$3.07, is that cool with you?"

"Is it cool with me? Not at all!" he said.

Raymond's plan for the next time he caps off his tank is to make sure prices go down.

"What do we got to do? Cut the prices back down. All the way down! To about $1.50. How about that? I love that!" says Raymond.

Gas tax in Georgia is considered the lowest in the nation at 7.5 cents per gallon. But, it increases when you add the state sales tax to it, along with local taxes. So really, the price you pay for gallon in taxes varies.

Wayne's thinking of an alternative now.

"If it gets any more expensive, what are you going to do?" we asked Wayne.

"Start walking!" he said. "I can't afford it!"

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