December 30, 2011
Like most motorists, the volatility of gas prices never ceases to amaze those of us who have tanks to fill on a regular basis’s; as well as the difference in pricing across our state. Christmas we were in Burlington for the Christmas Holiday. Gas in Graham was $3.12 cents per gallon. In Tramway, one station was at $3.15 while most in that area was $3.20. Now let focus on Resort gas prices here in Poorer County. The constant average has been $3.35 cents with very little fluctuation. Not even for Christmas. Greed or whatever the consumer market will bear in a struggling economy, is the name of free enterprise in our society.
In 1995, North Carolina’s legislature passed a bill into law, General Statue 105-449.80 and 81, which will affect all of our wallets in the New Year with a 3.5 % increase on the state level and 4% on the federal level. One note of interest: North Carolina is presently ranked 9th in the country for high gas taxes. Now let us consider House Bill 645 that places a 17.5 cents cap on fuel products at the pump - Thank you legislators for robbing us blind. Our legislators continue to serve the interest of oil producers and distributors. The history of gas taxes go back to 2004 when they legislated an inspection tax of 0.25% and a rate increase of 2 cents per gallon to at 24.6 cents to 26.6 cents on January 1, 2005. At that time gas was selling at the pump for $1.30.
What is big oil doing to contribute to the overall economy in the US?
“The owner, Transocean, moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008, maneuvers that also helped it avoid taxes”.
Federal officials considered a new tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup from the Gulf Oil spill, the industry is fighting the measure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, as well as an increased dependence on foreign oil. But what they failed to mention is that the US exports 64 million barrels a day!
An examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.
According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2010, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general, and lower than virtually any other industry. Congressional pundits keep railing that if corporations are given tax breaks they will start hiring and create jobs… I have one question, where?
Congressional PAC’s are saturated with money for representatives and we wonder why our system is broken? It’s a shame that our representatives in Raleigh chose not to attempt a repeal of the new tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. But as usual, they go along to get along…at our expense.