Low gas tax rates little help to payers at pump - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Low gas tax rates little help to payers at pump

Jimmy Kerfoot, owner of Bald Eagle Foods Jimmy Kerfoot, owner of Bald Eagle Foods
Tennessee and Alabama have doubles and triple the gas tax, but similar pump prices Tennessee and Alabama have doubles and triple the gas tax, but similar pump prices
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May 19, 2004

Albany, GA - Senique Pollard gets blamed every time gas prices go up.

"This is my favorite one," Pollard said. "I guess every time we pump gas, ya'll go up a penny."

At close to $2 a gallon, we want to blame somebody.

As Georgians, we should feel lucky to have a low gasoline tax rate, 7.5 cents per gallon actually. Right next door, Alabama's tax is 18 cents and Tennessee's is 20 cents, but the average price of gas in those states is only a penny more than in Georgia.

Also, we're paying 43 percent more for gas than we were a year ago. The national average is up 33 percent.

The reason, according to retailers, is because local suppliers are running out of fuel, which means businesses have to buy it somewhere else.

"When we have to pay someone to haul it in, that adds cost to us at the pump," said Jimmy Kerfoot, owner of Bald Eagle Foods on Ledo Road.

Nationally, wholesale and retail prices are going up at about the same rate. But Bald Eagle Foods paid $1.82 and $1.83 a gallon for the gas they're selling for $1.84. So they're only making a penny per gallon.

"Combine that with credit card charges at the pump, I'm loosing money," he said. "We're struggling right now, just like the consumer on keeping gas prices at a fair, reasonable price that everybody could live with without everybody losing money."

So they're not getting rich off what you pay at the pump, but they are hoping you come in for a snack.

"So come in and buy a coke. We'll give you a friendly smile, we'll wash your windshield, we'll pump your gas for you, and we'll try to make you feel better."

And Senique will even take the blame.

"I tell them, I feel the same way. Guess I'll start carpooling next."

updated at 10:10AM by brannon.stewart@walb.com