Why Are Gas Prices So High In Flint?
Over last weekend, I was in Tampa Bay to clear out my former home. One glaring thing stood out. The price of gas was only $3.29 per gallon?! And, there's a hurricane coming (which you'd think would drive up the price, but apparently not).
Ohio's gas prices are about the same as Florida's. Toledo even has a refinery to keep prices around $3.29-ish -- Also, Toledo is just across the Michigan border... So, WHY are Flint's gas prices so much higher? On the way to work, each Speedway gas station on Bristol Road was $3.89/gallon!
The amount of taxes Michigan collects on gas and the sale of gasoline is essentially double dipping. There's a gas tax added into the price per gallon. Then, a sales tax added to the overall price. (See all of that craziness, here.) You'll see it's even higher for diesel fuel. All of our truck drivers love that (sarcasm).
When you combine the gas tax of 27.2 cents per gallon collected by Michigan with the 18.4 cents per gallon with the Federal Government... Then, slap a sales tax of 6% of total sale... You're looking at roughly $0.45/gallon before the sales tax hits you for another 6%--which varies based on how many gallons you've purchased. (Translation: We'll tax you more--so we can tax you more.)
There's a great tool to break down the price of fuel and taxes around Genesee County and the whole state of Michigan, here. This is provided by Michigan Petroleum Association and Michigan Association of Convenience Stores or MPAMACS. If you've got a big truck or flexible fuel car -- you'll know exactly how much the state and feds are getting from you for each fill-up. (Think dollars per fill-up!)
How does the tax "revenue" get spent around the state? The gas tax is mostly used for road construction/maintenance (although, you wouldn't know it around Flint, Grand Blanc, Flushing, Davison... Looking at you Bristol Road and South Saginaw Street!) The MI State Sales Tax is dispersed to schools and other departments.
You would think we're on the high-end of taxes, but no! Pennsylvania has the highest at 57.6 cents per gallon... followed by California at 51.6 cents per gallon. (Here's a complete list from Forbes.) The optimist in me wants to say "it could be worse," but I don't want to tempt fate.
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