Skip to comments.NY Gas Stations Fined for Gouging (NC state gas tax going up - twice in 2006)
Posted on 12/19/2005 4:41:01 PM PST by Libloather
Gas Stations Fined for Gouging
by R News Staff
Published Dec 19, 2005
Fifteen gasoline stations statewide have been fined more than $63,000 dollars by New York state for jacking up prices after Hurricane Katrina
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office released Monday the results of a three-month investigation into the gouging. The No-Co gas station on West Main Street in Webster is among those fined for the gouging.
State officials say three oil companies, Getty, B.P. Amoco and Lukoil set prices for the service stations they control.
Spitzer's office says the investigation of other retailers continues. Local gas prices hit an all-time high of $3.34 a gallon on September 11.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. The price at the pump is about to head even higher.
According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the states motor fuels tax will increase 2.8 cents at the first of the year. The hike will affect gas, diesel and alternative fuels. Currently the state claims about 27 cents per gallon.
With average prices well over $2, drivers are having a difficult time understanding why the hike is coming now.
People are having it hard enough right now, said motorist Leonard White. Yeah, its hard to understand.
Sarah Davis of AAA Carolinas explained that a percentage of the tax is tied to wholesale oil prices and it is adjusted every six months by law meaning when the price of oil goes up, so does the state tax.
Because we saw some record high gas prices in this previous six months, were going to see an increase in the gas tax, she said.
The extra money helps pay for highways.
For every penny of the gas tax that it increases, the department of transportation estimates at least another $20 million in that six months, Davis said.
Surprisingly, the tax has gone down several times in the past few years, including more than 2 cents in June of 2002.
And although the tax probably wont be going down again any time soon, few people will even notice the increase. Pumping 30 gallons a week will only cost an extra 90 cents.
Drivers, of course, are still less than pleased.
AAA Carolinas also said its likely the tax will go up again this summer.
Currently North Carolina gas prices are 3 cents below the national average. According to AAA, on average the cheapest fuel prices are in Utah, at $1.99 per gallon.
Web Journalist: Lindsay Varner
OUCH.the biggest beneficiaries of gasoline sales are federal and state governments, not the oil industry:
$63,000 is not nearly enough.
For what? If you don't want to pay higher prices restrict your driving.
Down here in coastal Alabama, hurricane territory, we can usually boycott a business after the hurricane emergency is over. People here are extremely sensative to gouging when (after a hurricane) people are scrambling for basic supplies.
Gougers should be put out of business.
So you would prefer long lines at gas stations that have no gasoline at pre-storm prices? Where do you think additional supplies are supposed to come from? After Katrina, the US ws importing refined products from European strategic stockpiles. The cost of supplying fuel went up and not just in the areas devastated by the hurricane. Back in the 1970's we tried price controls. We had long lines and shortages. Markets work much better.
How can a seller that makes less per gallon in *net* profit be gouging than the government makes in taxes on that same gallon. And that same government doesn't lower the tax during a tight supply situation. Sounds like the government is gouging more than the retailer, if you use greed as a yardstick. Yet, no one on the left accuses the government of gouging. Funny, isn't it?
Shouldn't there be an investigation, and a windfall profits rebate from the government? yuk, yuk.
"Back in the 1970's we tried price controls."
I remember that and it didn't work.
I'm speaking about localized disasters. If the price to a retailer goes up, he should be allowed to raise his prices accordingly. He should not be allowed to gouge me in life - death situations.
What's localized about having 20% of the entire US refining capacity shut down? High prices discourage low value consumption like driving on a vacation. Also considering the infrastructure for delivering more supplies to the areas affected by the hurricane was damaged, the cost of delivering more supplies increased. Much of the refined products had to be diverted to places where they normally don't go. I'd rather have high prices and available supply than fixed prices and no supply, especially after a natural disaster.
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