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http://www.khou.com/topstories/stories/khou070508_tj_gastax.4ed4662d.html

State may lift gas tax for summer

11:52 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Associated Press

AUSTIN — Relief from soaring summer gas prices might soon be on the way.

The Texas House tentatively adopted a measure Tuesday that would suspend the state's 20-cent gas tax through the summer months.

That would mean an immediate 20-cent drop in the price per gallon.

"The more cars you have, the more relief you get," said Rep.Trey Martinez Fischer, a San Antonio Democrat who added the proposal to an omnibus tax collection bill. "We're sitting here on record savings. We used to say around here it's the people's money. We ought to give it back."

The House, which approved it by a 118-16 vote, is expected to give final approval to the measure Thursday. It can go to the governor's desk to be signed into law if the Senate agrees with changes the House made to the bill, including the gas tax suspension. If the Senate does not agree, members of each chamber would be appointed to a conference committee to negotiate a compromise.

If Perry signs it, the tax relief would take immediate effect and be good for 90 days. That would cover most of the typically high-priced summer driving period, Martinez Fischer said.


What do ya'll think about this?
 

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I think it's a decent start. $.20/gallon for the 20 gallons I fill up is only $4 off the $70+ it costs me to run this thing. But hey, 4 bucks is 4 bucks.

Seriously, the price of gas is way outta control.
 

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It's a step in the wrong direction. Lee Iacocca said it in a recent interview in Fortune and I have always stated it, gas taxes should be higher to get this country off of foreign oil. This action is so short-sighted it isn't even funny. Not to mention, $0.20/gallon? So what? I've said it before when gas prices were high and I'll say it again, if that makes such a big difference to people then they have bigger concerns than the price of gas. I can't wait to see all the people come on here and flip out when prices get higher and give up their trucks because they can't afford it. Then I would argue they couldn't afford it before either (within reason obviously, if gas doubled overnight and people ran through 5-10 tanks per month then yes, it's a fairly substantial difference). Not to mention the money lost by the government on these taxes. The taxpayers are paying for it one way or the other in the form of less money in their government.

I have a great solution to the social security shortfall. Raise taxes on gas. Has dual effect of fixing SS and getting us off of the middle east. Once they have no money over there things will get interesting.

Not to mention, there is a freaking reason gas is expensive...supply vs. demand. If there aren't constraints on demand (such as high prices) then demand might increase more than it should over the summer and reserves will be depleted further. Then what happens after the end of the season? Bring the tax back? Great so now we have depleted supply even further than optimal/right over the summer, which will increase prices anyway, and then let's top it off with a tax on the other side, no thanks. Markets are generally efficient, LET THEM WORK.
 

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I'm going to get flamed, but I have to disagree. Bad idea. 20 cents a gallon is 5% of a 4 dollar a gallon fuel cost. What it does to a state that already has a difficult time keeping up with the road infrastructure is far more costly than that. We'll have even less money to build/improve roads and we'll wind up with more toll roads. Tolls we seemingly NEVER get to quit paying. So the question to me becomes short term relief for long term suffering? I'll keep paying the gas tax.
 

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Carbeaux said:
I'm going to get flamed, but I have to disagree. Bad idea. 20 cents a gallon is 5% of a 4 dollar a gallon fuel cost. What it does to a state that already has a difficult time keeping up with the road infrastructure is far more costly than that. We'll have even less money to build/improve roads and we'll wind up with more toll roads. Tolls we seemingly NEVER get to quit paying. So the question to me becomes short term relief for long term suffering? I'll keep paying the gas tax.
Beatcha, I get flamed first!!!!
 

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TriKKy said:
Beatcha, I get flamed first!!!!
I saw that! :rofl: :cheers:
 

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TriKKy said:
Lee Iacocca said it in a recent interview in Fortune and...
A great man!!!

An excerpt from his Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

A Hell of a Mess.
So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened. Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it? Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change? Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horse**** and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough
 

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It would'nt help a thing. The oil companies would just raise the price on a gallon of gas and make more profit.
 

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First off, how in the H E double L will raising taxes on gas, reduce our dependency on foreign oil? The only thing that will reduce our need for foreign oil, is to produce our own, that means drill were ever there is oil. If you want to reduce our dependency on oil, we have to develop and use alternatives, hydrogen, nuclear or whatever. And don’t say that it is the oil companies duty to develop it, they are OIL companies, not alternative fuel companies.
And to say that cutting the 20 cents state tax will do no good because the oil companies will just raise the price, how in the world would we know, in the history of this country, we have never lowered, much less cut a sales tax, and besides, $0.20 per gallon is double the amount of profit that oil companies make per gallon, so just cut it $0.10 per gallon and the state will still be getting as much per gallon as the companies do, that invest the billions of dollars that it takes to produce it.
I think that we need to invest some of this money in the Public School System, it is failing!
 

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rholland said:
First off, how in the H E double L will raising taxes on gas, reduce our dependency on foreign oil?
By making it so expensive that it becomes cheaper to develop alternative energy solutions sooner rather than later.

And to say that cutting the 20 cents state tax will do no good because the oil companies will just raise the price, how in the world would we know, in the history of this country, we have never lowered, much less cut a sales tax, and besides, $0.20 per gallon is double the amount of profit that oil companies make per gallon, so just cut it $0.10 per gallon and the state will still be getting as much per gallon as the companies do, that invest the billions of dollars that it takes to produce it.
The 20 cent decrease will do no good because it is not addressing the problem which is the fact that we are relying on oil. As far as what the oil companies would do, what do you think they would do? Let's pretend for a moment that you are the oil company. You see that the market will support a price of X for your supply of gas. You can almost treat the 20cent decrease as a subsidy to the consumers. This means that once gas falls 20 cents if gas companies raise their prices 20cents they will get the same demand while charging the an even higher price than before...what do you think they would do? They aren't setting record profits by not pricing competitively.

The effect of subsidies are well studied if you would like to look them up.

I think that we need to invest some of this money in the Public School System, it is failing!
Yeah, I agree with you there.


P.S. Hey Quad and bowhunter, ltns. :hi:
 

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TriKKy said:
By making it so expensive that it becomes cheaper to develop alternative energy solutions sooner rather than later.



The 20 cent decrease will do no good because it is not addressing the problem which is the fact that we are relying on oil. As far as what the oil companies would do, what do you think they would do? Let's pretend for a moment that you are the oil company. You see that the market will support a price of X for your supply of gas. You can almost treat the 20cent decrease as a subsidy to the consumers. This means that once gas falls 20 cents if gas companies raise their prices 20cents they will get the same demand while charging the same price...what do you think they would do? They aren't setting record profits by not pricing competitively.

The effect of subsidies are well studied if you would like to look them up.


Yeah, I agree with you there.


P.S. Hey Quad and bowhunter, ltns. :hi:
Again, Opec controls the oil production, bbls per day, and Wall Street sets the per Bbl price, competition sets the gas price, per gal.
There have been 30 investigations in 20 years on gas pricing by oil companies, and never has the government made a case.
So the free market would control the gas pricing.

And *****ing about it is just hot air.
 

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TriKKy said:
By making it so expensive that it becomes cheaper to develop alternative energy solutions sooner rather than later.

The 20 cent decrease will do no good because it is not addressing the problem which is the fact that we are relying on oil. As far as what the oil companies would do, what do you think they would do? Let's pretend for a moment that you are the oil company. You see that the market will support a price of X for your supply of gas. You can almost treat the 20cent decrease as a subsidy to the consumers. This means that once gas falls 20 cents if gas companies raise their prices 20cents they will get the same demand while charging the an even higher price than before...what do you think they would do? They aren't setting record profits by not pricing competitively.



P.S. Hey Quad and bowhunter, ltns. :hi:
Alternative energy has nothing to do with the taxes on oil. If a company can make a alternative fuel for cheaper than oil they will do it. It is not the oil company's problem if we don't have any other choices. Why should they spend billions to make alternative fuels when they can profit off oil. It will take a 3rd party to put them out of business, that is just the way it works.

The oil companies have never adjusted fuel prices because of the amount of taxes on fuel that I am aware of. If you can show that they did please post it. It is a break for the short time for consumers.
 

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I'm not versed in anyway in politics/economics/etc, so I don't have an argument for, or against the gas tax. But what I can say is that if you own a car (or a truck, such as our Titan), don't b**ch about gas prices. It's expensive to own, maintain, and keep an auto running...and thats before you add in insurance costs, monthly payments (assuming you have one) and the like. So as someone above me stated, if you're going to complain about high gas prices, you have bigger problems than the price of gas.

Although it's been said in the performance forums, it applies here as well: you gotta pay to play
 

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Wall street doth not set prices at the pumps, just the prices of the barrels. And even then, you are generally referring to futures prices for the barrels being set not what is being sold. And those prices are indeed a reflection of supply and demand, the numbers set aren't just arbitrary.

Maybe the government has never made a case because there has been no case to make. Fundamentally speaking they are subject to the same market forces as everyone else and unless you can prove EXPLICIT vs. Tacit collusion among them you will never EVER have a case. I argue that given the ways laws on collusion are structured, a 20 year collusive deal where neither side gives up the other would be damn near impossible. Collusion is almost always discovered because of the way the justice department has setup the whistleblower rule. It is pure Prisoner's dilemma and at one point or another, one of them is going to turn.

I am not complaining about a thing, just answering the post with facts.
 

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helomech said:
Alternative energy has nothing to do with the taxes on oil. If a company can make a alternative fuel for cheaper than oil they will do it. It is not the oil company's problem if we don't have any other choices. Why should they spend billions to make alternative fuels when they can profit off oil. It will take a 3rd party to put them out of business, that is just the way it works.

The oil companies have never adjusted fuel prices because of the amount of taxes on fuel that I am aware of. If you can show that they did please post it. It is a break for the short time for consumers.
Alternative energy has everything to do with it. I'm not talking about the oil company and their responsibility for other choices, I'm talking a self-imposed tax, what's more is that it doesn't really matter if you tax the oil companies or consumers directly, it always gets shifted to the consumer anyway. A tax is a cost that is passed on to consumers. In other words, let's go nuts and put a $100 tax on every gallon of gasoline. What would demand be? If you as a researcher could develop an alternative energy source for a car that were cheaper to run by the mile you would be able to sell it. So let's take Ethanol, at the moment it is not really economically viable as an alternative fuel. However, if gas were $100/gallon because of a tax and ethanol had no tax and cost $5/gallon and for simplicity's sake they were just as efficient, wouldn't you choose ethanol? The point is as I said that you can theoretically make gas so expensive that alternative energy becomes viable. Nobody is really in a rush to switch right now and in the short term I'm sure any alternative fuel would be more expensive in a sense. However, as infrastructure builds it will become cheaper and there are indirect costs not just reflected in the saving in a gallon of gas related to its price. The price of nearly everything is affected by the way and costs of transportation. Also, there are political costs to relying on foreign oil.

As far as adjusting fuel prices it is pure economic theory but it isn't hard to see why/how it would happen. Let's say the government was foolish enough to put a ceiling on gas. What would happen? There would be a glut of demand and a shortage of gas since no producer would supply that much gas for that price since it is not in their best interest. A tax is the same way, remove it, gas gets cheaper and here is what will happen in order:

Demand goes up
Supply goes down

We need a new equilibrium...how do you make them match? Increase prices of course, right back to the old competitive market price. This is a bit more on the long term side I am talking, short-term cuts still have some of this effect because we might need to dip into reserves which need to be replenished later, hurting supply later.
 

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I don't think dropping the tax on fuel will increase the amount of fuel used. If it does it would be only slightly. It would help keep some money in the pockets of the people that need to buy gas to get to work. I know that if I am going to travel the price of gas is irrelevant, up to a point. But I need to drive almost 3000 miles a month just going to work and back. BTW I don't drive my truck to work I have a saturn that gets almost 40 mpg for that. I don't think that raising the price of fuel will help much as far as people not using as much fuel. If the government really wants people to limit there fuel, then the government could limit the amount of fuel that people use. In the army in germany we had fuel coupons that lowered the price of gas, you could still get gas even without coupons, you just had to pay about 4 times as much. I can't remember how many gallons a month we were allowed.
 

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Well, I seriously doubt that our Governor will be making any changes other than raise the gas tax. Wisconsin has skimmed the transportation budget to pay for education, and the gas tax funds the transportation budget. Gov. Doyle's new budget proposal is looking for 2.5% tax on oil company profits, raising the tobacco tax from $0.77 to $2.02 a pack, adding a tax on hospitals to pay 1% of grosss revenue, 1.7 billion dollar increase in spending and a 1.4 billion increase in the property tax collection as well. One thing about living in a blue state, no one in government seems to understand basic economics. They certainly don't know how to manage money, but they know how to get more.

As for the reduction in gas tax, I say keep collecting the tax until the government has enough money to build new friggen refineries, and quit screwing around pointing fingers at each other. Flood the market with inventory and the price problem will take care of itself.
 

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helomech said:
I don't think dropping the tax on fuel will increase the amount of fuel used. If it does it would be only slightly. It would help keep some money in the pockets of the people that need to buy gas to get to work. I know that if I am going to travel the price of gas is irrelevant, up to a point. But I need to drive almost 3000 miles a month just going to work and back. BTW I don't drive my truck to work I have a saturn that gets almost 40 mpg for that. I don't think that raising the price of fuel will help much as far as people not using as much fuel. If the government really wants people to limit there fuel, then the government could limit the amount of fuel that people use. In the army in germany we had fuel coupons that lowered the price of gas, you could still get gas even without coupons, you just had to pay about 4 times as much. I can't remember how many gallons a month we were allowed.

OK true that 20 cents might not do it. It would have to be an amount that would cause a significant impact on global demand. If for instance there were a major drop in taxes in China and US you would see a swing. A 20 cent shift would yield less than 20 cent increase in price.
 

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TriKKy said:
OK true that 20 cents might not do it. It would have to be an amount that would cause a significant impact on global demand. If for instance there were a major drop in taxes in China and US you would see a swing. A 20 cent shift would yield less than 20 cent increase in price.
I am not sure why you think a 20 cent reduction in taxes would result in a 20 cent increase in price. As far as I know that has never happened and don't believe it would happen. The price of gas has nothing to do with the amount of taxes that are imposed on a state or federal level.
 

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Florida did the gas tax relief last year. Lasted all of about 2-3 weeks. The gas stations and oil companies slowly bumped up the cost while no taxes were being collected.

We also dod this hurrican supply no tax week. the items that don't get taxed get the prices raised about 2 weeks before the time to buy, same with the tax free holiday for school supplies and clothing at the beginning of the school year.

POS OBS, a 4x8 sheet usually runs about $5.25 a sheet for 1/2''. It's climbing and by the end of hurricane season it will be $10 a sheet while regular plywood is cheaper!!!
 
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