Why are Madison gas prices higher

Greene Publishing, Inc. has received numerous phone calls from concerned citizens asking why the gasoline prices are higher in the city limits. After calling all the gas stations within the area, the gasoline prices in Madison County show that the gasoline prices within the city limits are higher than the gasoline stations near I-10 by 15-27 cents. The prices are much higher than the national average of $2.03. The lowest prices for gasoline in Madison County are at Love’s Travel Stop and Jimmies Auto and Truck Plaza in Lee near the I-10 exit at $2.07 as of Wednesday, Jan. 28. The highest price for gasoline in Madison County is within the city limits at the Fast Track, located at 408 East Base Street in Madison at $2.34 as of Wednesday, Jan. 28. The Busy Bee and Pit Stop, both in city limits as well, are at $2.29. The price of a gallon of gasoline is determined by the price of crude oil, refining costs, distribution and marketing cost and the state and county taxes. The Florida state gasoline tax is 17.3 cents. According to Clerk of Circuit Court Tim Sanders, there is no additional gasoline tax in the City of Madison to explain the discrepancy in prices. The taxes applied are countywide. Madison County is allowed to collect a total of 12 cents per gallon of gasoline through three taxes. The tax revenues are to be used on transportation expenditures, such as roadway maintenance, streetlights and paying debt incurred from transportation expenditures. The first is a tax of one cent per gallon of gasoline or diesel sold within the county, known as the ninth-cent fuel tax, which goes back to the county. The second is a tax of six cents per gallon of gasoline or diesel sold within the county. The third is a five cent tax per gallon of gasoline sold within the county, which the county approved last Fall and the funds received are earmarked for resurfacing and paving in Madison County. According to estimates from the Florida Department of Revenues Office, the county will receive a total of $294,106 for the ninth-cent fuel tax in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. For the six-cent tax, the county will receive $1,649,993. For the five-cent tax, the county will receive $478,893. The six-cent and five-cent revenues will be distributed throughout Madison County by certain percentages: Madison County (70.17 percent), Greenville (6.16 percent), Lee (1.98 percent) and City of Madison (21.69 percent). Comparing Madison County’s prices with surrounding counties show that the gas stations in Madison’s city limits are still higher. Suwannee County also collects 12 cents per gallon through the same taxes but the gasoline prices range from $2.11 at Walmart to $2.18 at the Busy Bee. Leon County also collects 12 cents and according to gasbuddy.com, the average price for Tallahassee is $2.14. While the price of gasoline is dictated by the price of crude oil, refining costs, distribution and marketing cost and the state and county taxes, each gasoline station and corporation decides their own prices and can charge accordingly to increase their profit.

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