The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

October 23, 2013

Competition causes local gas prices to 'cycle'

Officials say prices will fall as weather gets colder



“Georgia has a very low tax on gasoline when compared to other states,” Imus said. “And if you compare us (Indiana) to Kentucky, who does not have a seven percent tax, they are cheaper than us.”

Imus also said gas prices are heavily regulated and insisted that rates are not excessive anywhere in Indiana.

“It is a mystery to some people, but there is nothing more transparent,” he said of fuel prices. “You can do the math and see what the retail price is. When I am buying a gallon of milk I don’t know what has gone into it before it goes to the market, but it is not uncommon for a retailer to get wholesale prices and not be able to pass them on to the consumer immediately.”

Imus noted that the market is so competitive that if managers of another company thought they could come to Indiana and make a profit selling gasoline at lower prices, they would. But that isn’t happening.

He agreed with DeHaan about the volatility of gas prices in Indiana, but he said it actually works in the consumer's favor — since motorists are sometimes buying gasoline at a price below profitability for gas merchants.

Victoria Davis, Anderson, said she uses gas coupons issued from supermarkets to save money.

“Indy is usually a little cheaper,” she said. “We try to fill up when we are there.”

DeHaan predicted that motorists will experience some relief in the next few months as the demand for gas will drop and prices could fall to about $3 a gallon.

“There is less consumption,” he said. “You know when the time changes, and you spring forward in the spring and fall back in the fall? It’s the same for gas prices. When the cold weather hits, people don’t want to go places, and it helps to build the gasoline supply.”

Like Traci L. Moyer on Facebook and follow her @moyyer on Twitter, or call 648-4250.

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