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Should state and local governments suspend gasoline taxes during the current runup in gasoline prices from hurricanes Katrina and Rita? :?:
 

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Only if they'll agree to live without the money and not find ways to grab for it later. If not, they might as well have it now...
 

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No they should increase the taxes, we need the $ to pay for the corporate give aways and tax breaks to the wealthy that were passed.
 

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I hear that it could go to $4.00 or $5.00 per gallon here in Florida if Rita causes significant damage to the Texas refineries.

Some local governments are already reducing or eliminating the taxes at least on a temporary basis.

On the flip side, though, higher prices will reduce wasteful usage, at least until this blows over. After Katrina struck, I was no longer the only one driving 55 on the highway. It was funny; I was the "leader" at 55 MPH, with all those Explorers, H2's, Excursions, and other big vehicles all too happy to just follow my little Prius down the road!

Too bad that only lasted for about two days here in Central Florida.

If we cannot reduce waste and frivolous use, then the next thing is rationing. I would prefer higher prices to rationing. Higher prices, I can deal with. I can further adjust my habitual driving, and I suspect that a lot of other folks can, too.

But outright shortages and rationing are too reminiscent of standing in bread lines and potato lines, which is what many people have to do in countries with less economic potential and fewer personal freedoms.

And then there's the "stupid factor." I saw a guy filling up about 6 big gas cans in his trunk today. I spoke with him. He says he fears shortages, not high prices. Hope he didn't get rear-ended on the way home. :shock:
 

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I heard some guys on the local morning radio show talking about changing the way gas prices are mandated and gas tax % per gallon.



They were saying that gas should be set at a flat $2.00/gallon. Depending on supply and demand, the government would then raise/lower and adjust their tax rates, instead of having a flat tax rate and adjusting the cost per gallon.


That would make the government responsible for finding and maintaining necessary resources for oil production and importation and usage and would take it away from the oil lobbyists and market.


That way if the Government doesn't exhaust their opportunities to secure good reserves, they would have to raise their gas tax rates and limit the revenue to the record-breaking incomes of current day oil companies.

It would force the oil companies to standardize how they approach production and it would force the Government to standardize how much tax 'income' they will need to generate to both allow for the oil companies to manufacture and operate correctly and also secure their dollar amounts they will receive from the taxes they collect.

Once there is a happy medium and the best tax rate (or small range of % points) was met, get rid of the $2.00/gallon fixed rate for consumers and adjust it to the settled tax rate and required revenue % that would go to the oil companies themselves.

Most likely this would drop the fixed $2.00/gallon price dramatically and from that point on nobody would worry about surging prices and allow us to stop planning on when it would be best to get gas so you don't get screwed by a sudden increase at the pumps...

...Except for in a disaster or time of desparate need, and then they would reset the fixed rate at $2.00/gallon (Or a new adjusted fixed amount) and restart the cycle of raising and lower the gas tax rate to allow for better production from the oil companies and not let it affect the consumers and citizens that pay the taxes as much as it is doing right now.
 

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Should governments lower taxes to compensate? No, they should just ban price gouging. I live in Oregon, where ZERO percent of our gas comes from the gulf coast. Yet after Katrina, our gas prices went up by 15%. From $2.479/gal to $2.899/gal at the same station over a one-week period. I saw prices at the same station go up ten cents a day for three days in a row, immediately after Katrina hit. They have calmed down to $2.699, but the mid and high grades didn't drop as fast, and have started to rise again; Diesel never dropped from it's $3.199 perch.

Odd how our gas prices went up before any gas from the Gulf coast COULD have reached us, even under perfect circumstances; even if we DID receive Gulf cost oil!

I am a 'fiscal' Republican, and believe in free markets, and allowing supply and demand to determine market prices (that's why I have no problem with Toyota dealers charging over MSRP,) but blatant opportunistic profiteering with no real cause is too much. Gasoline has become a necessity, almost a 'utility'. It should be regulated like other utilities.
 

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Exactly what is "price gouging"? More directly, where is the law against raising prices? I'm serious. My wife and I were talking about it and, while we both know basically what price gouging is, we could not for the life of us figure how it is defined in the law.

Anyone know more about this than me? My suspician is that certain commodities have specific laws about them. I mean, no one is going to get upset if the price of Big Macs is doubled after Rita, are they?
 

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ehurtley said:
Should governments lower taxes to compensate? No, they should just ban price gouging. I live in Oregon, where ZERO percent of our gas comes from the gulf coast. Yet after Katrina, our gas prices went up by 15%. From $2.479/gal to $2.899/gal at the same station over a one-week period.
Maybe gas was being sent to help the short supply, which made your supply short, bringing you into the happy Gouged family?...
 

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mikepaul said:
ehurtley said:
Should governments lower taxes to compensate? No, they should just ban price gouging. I live in Oregon, where ZERO percent of our gas comes from the gulf coast. Yet after Katrina, our gas prices went up by 15%. From $2.479/gal to $2.899/gal at the same station over a one-week period.
Maybe gas was being sent to help the short supply, which made your supply short, bringing you into the happy Gouged family?...
Yeah, I thought about this, too.
 

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SgtKarl said:
Exactly what is "price gouging"? More directly, where is the law against raising prices? I'm serious. My wife and I were talking about it and, while we both know basically what price gouging is, we could not for the life of us figure how it is defined in the law.
Me either. We could argue that rising prices perform a public service by decreasing demand and preventing shortages for military and emergency use. Yes, fewer people will take vacation and fewer people will drive frivolously. Of course, it will hurt some segments of the population and the economy, but at least there will be gasoline for airbridge evacuations, food distribution, and police, fire, ambulance, and hospital services.

Likewise, lower prices perform a similar public service by increasing demand, thereby preventing oversupply.

Higher prices also spur innovation, technology, and increased discovery and manufacturing efficiency....moreso in economically free societies.

SgtKarl said:
Anyone know more about this than me? My suspician is that certain commodities have specific laws about them. I mean, no one is going to get upset if the price of Big Macs is doubled after Rita, are they?
I don't know more than you, but I do have a conundrum for ya...Big Macs. If that's not a waste of a perfectly good petroleum product, I don't know what is. :) Come on, you don't think Big Macs are real food, do you? :D :p :twisted:
 

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:? This post CLEARLY belongs in a Political Forum - however - considering the source, it's not surprising to find it here.

:cry: What a waste of Bandwidth :cry:
 

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Price Gouging.

SgtKarl said:
Exactly what is "price gouging"? More directly, where is the law against raising prices? I'm serious. My wife and I were talking about it and, while we both know basically what price gouging is, we could not for the life of us figure how it is defined in the law.

Anyone know more about this than me? My suspician is that certain commodities have specific laws about them. I mean, no one is going to get upset if the price of Big Macs is doubled after Rita, are they?
Price Gouging Laws. As defined is most laws, it is the act of selling a product that has 'survival' value for more after a disaster than before said disaster. Florida, New York, and Georgia, and 9 other states have such laws that define 'before' as the average price over the 30 days preceding the event. The better laws include waivers for price increases due to a real increase in cost of acquiring the product, or due to disaster-caused shortage.

I'm not saying to force gas stations to sell their remaining two hundred gallons of gas at the same $2.39 as they did a month ago; I'm saying that in areas where there is no supply concern, they should not be allowed to profiteer. I have ZERO complaint with the gas stations in Georgia who charged $5.00/gal because they were down to their last 200 gallons, with no known time of getting more gas. I have complaints against the rest of the country, where the hurricane didn't disrupt anything. (Again, explain to me how my local Portland gas station's supplier all of a sudden lost his supply of Alaska/Seattle-routed gas because of a hurricane in Louisiana/Mississippi. What, his tanker takes the LONG way around? Oh, even if it HAD, the tanker that would have been affected would have STILL been at least a couple of weeks away.

You'll notice that now there is no more gas shortage except for the areas that were DIRECTLY affected. (Or are about to be affected by Rita.) This is due to the lack of transportation ability more than an actual lack of supply.

Yes, in the next couple of months, we might see a country-wide reduction in total supply, necessitating a price increase, but NOT ten cents a day for three days straight, starting the day after a hurricane that is a five day drive away.
 

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I believe "price gouging" is relative to a certain percentage over some kind of standard price. If you charge more than this set percentage by law it is considered "price gouging".

For example... Gas is standardized at a sanctioned amount of $2.00/gal. The percentage that gas stations may charge for markup above that $2.00/gal level is set to say 25%. Therefore if a certain gas station would charge $2.77/gal for their gas, it would be above the 25% allowable markup and therefore considered to be a gouge in the price.

I think that is how it works anyway. I read it in some news article. I'm just not too sure of the exacts.
 
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