Last night at midnight, Oct. 1, Missouri Department of Transportation's much-needed 21/2 cent (refundable) per gallon tax went into effect. A check of five Jefferson City gas stations at 7:30 a.m. this morning (Oct. 1) all show a 10 cent per gallon price increase. Four times the increased gas tax rate!
This action tells us about Jefferson City gas distributors:
1. There is a cartel as stations were different brands, all went up in price the same amount at the same time. One would think that an independent market to cover a 2 1/2 cent tax would cause some stations to go up 3 cents, others 4, maybe others 5 cents.
2. It shows greed. Take mandated increase multiply by four then charge the public three times more than the mandated amount.
3. The average person will think the increased amount is for the increased tax, not realizing that the tax is just a fraction. Take the windfall, let the price increase be blamed on the MODOT gas tax.
4. Going up 10 cents a gallon retail to cover a 2 1/2 cent tax has made it harder for MODOT to advance further gas tax increases or bonding, as the perception is the price increase is the new tax.