Savings to Salvation

I calculate that I’ll be saving about $0.15 cents for every gallon of gas (my math may be wrong). So, for each gallon of gas that I buy between now and the end of the month, I’ll be clicking on the Salvation Army button to the right and contributing what I saved due to the tax cut to the relief effort in addition to the other money I’m giving.

I appreciate the tax cut and think it is a great idea, but others need the money I’m saving more than I.

20 comments

  1. Harry says:

    I’m donating my time to the Salvation Army tomorrow and maybe Monday. You guys should consider doing the same.

  2. waterboy says:

    Erick, Harry & Chris – thanks for your words regarding efforts to contribute both time and money. Maybe Georgia convenience store owners can give windfall they are gaining to help hurricane victims or to support the troops. Gas prices were already through the roof and now, with the gas tax relief, these stations are making even more! In my area of the state, gas prices are the same today as yesterday. That means they get the artificially increased pricing PLUS the 15 cents that would otherwise got to the state. Want to get rich in Georgia? BUY A GAS STATION!

    Convenience store owners should at least give each “customer” (a.k.a. gas purchase victim) a flower at the time of purchase to comfort the abuse they are inflicting on their Georgia neighbors.

    Support hurricane relief efforts, support the troops, and support businesses that treat customers fairly.

  3. albert says:

    Macon Wesleyan Church
    2171 Forest Hill Road
    Macon, Georgia 31210
    478-471-9038

    Tuesday, Sept 6
    7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

    Hurricane Katrina Assistance
    WORLD HOPE TRUCK at MACON WESLEYAN CHURCH

    We have been in contact with the Church Secretary at the Bayou La Batre Wesleyan Church (all other lines are out). She informs us that the church has been used as a shelter for about 70 people who lost their homes and had to be rescued by emergency personnel. The loss of property is staggering! There is 8 ft. of water in the downtown area. The Thrift Store (ministry of the church located in the center of town) has 8 ft of water in the building and most of the supplies have been lost. This store has been the major mission for helping people in the area for several years.

    Right now supplies cannot be purchased in the area so the emergency need of supplies trucked directly to the area is vital. We are working with WORLD HOPE INTERNATIONAL to get the first relief load to this area immediately. Many more shipments over the next 2-3 monthw will continue to be needed.

    THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIES ARE MOST IMMEDIATED NEEDS:

    Army cots, blankets, pillows, (People are sleeping on the floor in the church.)
    Clothing; shoes, shirts, pants, dresses, socks, underwear, shorts, etc.
    Food Supplies
    Paper products, cups plates, bowls, cooking oil
    generator (Natural gas to connect with churches gas supply.)
    lanterns, candles cleaning products, buckets, mops
    Cash to build a storage building to help with the daily supply giveaways
    A SEMI-TRUCK to take supplies down to the Bayou La Batre area will be at the Macon Wesleyan Church (2171 Forest Hill Road) on Tuesday, September 6th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Please come and drop off supplies between these times.

    Contacts:

    Pastor Mark Atkinson 471-9038
    Ruby 475-1747

  4. Actually waterboy, you are wrong. Want to get rich because of high gas prices? Purchase an oil company (I suggest Exxon). But, the higher the raw cost of the gas, the thinner the margins get because of competition with other stations.

    An example:

    When the commodity can be purchased by the station for $.70, the going rate at the pump might be something like $.99. But if the cost of the gasoline for the station doubles to $1.40, the amount charged at the pump generally does not double. It might now be $1.69, which would still be a profit of $.29 / gallon.

    But what actually happens is that somewhere along the line, people are purchasing less gas (I know I am, and I doubt anyone out there is using MORE gas than they did a year ago, even if a lot of people are still using the SAME amount).

    So, $.29/gallon is the same profit, but there are fewer gallons. And because gas is so expensive, competition is steeper. They might see their margin cut to $.19/gallon or even lower. So people are purchasing less gas and the station is making less of a profit per gallon. And the higher the commodity cost, the smaller the profit for the station owners.

    That is why in California, a lot of independent stations (who don’t purchase with the volume of a BP or Exxon) have stopped pumping gas at all and just have their convenience stores open. They can not make money selling gas at these prices.

    If anything, eliminating the real benefit for consumers of eliminating the tax in this instance is the ability for station operators (if they keep their price the same or lower it only slightly) to finally make a profit operating their stations at these prices.

    I doubt prices will go down, but station owners not having to pass on the tax will allow them to eek out a little more profitability and stay open for the duration of the month to serve Georgians who need gas.

    God! You Republicans are supposed to know something about economics. Go ask someone you know who operates an independent gas station how they’ve been doing the past year before you jump to the conclusion that station owners are getting rich in this environment.

  5. waterboy says:

    Chrisisanidiot –
    Stop thinking you are smarter than the rest of us. We are in a crisis….overcharging for gasoline just one week removed from the biggest natural disaster in our nation’s history is appalling. Then they rub salt in the wound by keeping the tax cut provided for citizens – THAT IS INEXCUSABLE! When the short term fuel crisis is over, then let the chips fall where they may….that’s when the rules of a free market economy apply. Until then, gas retailers should act civil by running their business without abusing their customers.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Damn! Chrisishardcore sounds like a Republican Libertarian and Waterboy sounds like a typical bleeding-heart liberal Democrat!

    I think Peach Pundit has formally entered The Twilight Zone…..do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do……

  7. Decaturguy says:

    Erick, it is a great idea to donate 15 cents for every gallon of gas you purchase. Everyone should do that!

    However, regardless, basic economics says that the price of gas will not decrease. The increased demand driven by any decrease in the cost of gas at the pump will push prices higher (because of short supply) and will outweigh any decrease in the gas tax. Meanwhile, we’ll be starving the state government of $75 million in revenues that could actually be used to help the refugees that are here in Georgia.

  8. Waterboy, the Chevron near my house has the medium and high grade pumps covered with plastic bags. They are out of gas and running out of gas on the low grade. Why should they cut prices so that some paniced person can put extra gas in their car and maybe have the station run out of gas sooner, when someone that actually needs the gas might come the next day and they are out.

    Interfering in the market is not a good practice to get into, and like Decaturguy it is worrying to me (as a Democrat) that Sonny’s response to every thing that ails Georgia is government tinkering.

    I would much rather the gas tax approach have been one of the following: the state will continue to collect the tax and dedicate it to hurricane/tornado relief, either in the form of opening up state shelters or reimbursing existing ones for the care they provide. Or if we really want tax relief, just have everyone save their receipts and take it off of their taxes when they file. Doing it the way Sonny did it only ensures that most consumers will still pay the same amount at the pumps and no one but the pump operators will see any benefit.

  9. waterboy says:

    Bill Simon – try to contribute to the issue next time. Showing your butt as a childish conservative is both non-productive and extremely boring. I appreciate the fact chrisishardcore and others actually expresses an opinion on the matter.

    In a nut shell, either some folks are missing the fact that this is a crisis fuel situation or I just fail to see things like a gouging, dollar grabbing ass (a.k.a. Bill Simon). Either way I hope all of us will find a way to help those in need as this huge tragedy continues to unfold.

    I’m very pleased Governor Perdue and the Republican leadership took the gas pricing situation in hand and are trying to help consumers. Maybe the audits by Revenue Commissioner’s staff will lead the way to monetary penalties for those stations that are cheating Georgians.

  10. Erick says:

    Decaturguy, I do tend to agree with you. The price will not go down, but will continue to increase. I don’t believe there really is such a thing as gouging. The price is market born.

  11. kspencer says:

    A few points for consideration.

    A generation ago (about 1980) I worked at a gas station, and I learned that the manager did not set the gas price. He called a person and reported the prices of gas at the nearby competing stations. About an hour later he’d get a call, and if we changed the price on the signs and pumps it was after this call.

    As to pursuing gouging, it is always amazing when people try to reinvent the wheel. Both state and feds have anti-gouging laws on the books, though the state’s only applies in times of emergency (OCGA 10-1-393.4).

    Personal bit of paranoid forecast – unlike Decaturguy and Erick, I do think we’ll see a slight decline in gas prices over the next month. I think it’ll decrease by about 20-25 cents per gallon. And after that, as holidays and winter needs set in the price will go back over the $3 point never to look back. OTOH, the effect on the rest of the economy is going to require a lot of belt tightening and paring of services. I think the one-two punch sets us up for another period of stagflation – gas prices giving a functional inflation, but nothing else justifying a normal inflation curve and so stagnating in production. Not a good time to be running on a record of performance.

  12. waterboy says:

    Interesting comment in an online AJC article by James Salzer that will appear in the paper Tuesday…helps prove the point that this is a problem at some gas stations.

    “It’s likely some concerns will be raised during the session about whether station owners are passing on the savings from the tax cut, or from the lower prices they will be paying as supplies improve.

    Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores, warned his members Monday that they must lower prices as the wholesale cost of gas drops.

    “You cannot improve margins during a State of Emergency, otherwise you may be subject to the price-gouging statutes,” he said in a memo to members. “You cannot decide to just pass on the tax decrease and not pass on the decreased wholesale costs.”

    While gas tax collections are being suspended this month, they will likely increase in October.

    See the entire article at: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/0905/06session.html

  13. albert says:

    Hey Bill, I just want to give you a huge THANK YOU. I spent yesterday blasting about 2000 emails soliciting support for the truck going to Bayou La Batre. There has been an overwhelming amount of people involved in this project. An area physician has been coordinating the effort along with the church. Today the fellowship hall became a distribution warehouse packing hygiene kits and organizating critical needs supplies.

    It seems that most of the media attention has focused on the New Orleans chaos and not much to the rest of the relief.

    Bayou La Batre is a poor shrimping town. Apparently several of the shrimping boats decided they would risk attemping go into the gulf to bypass the storm and were unsuccessful. There is a lot of death and massive destruction.

    We sent a caravan of 30 trucks yesterday morning loaded with literal tons of emergency supplies.

    Thanks for blasting out our request for help to your readers! It is times of crisis that show what our society is able to achieve when we come together. The stories of hope and vision I am getting are nothing less than inspirational.

  14. Decaturguy says:

    It also distresses me that the Governor’s response to this tragedy and this oil shortage, is to tell Georgians – keep on doing what you’re doing, I’ll make sure you’re not paying too much for gas so you can keep driving around as much as you want, instead of actually enouraging Georgians to do their part in this national crisis, which is to sacrafice something and conserve.

    There is no such thing as price gouging. If people are willing to pay a price for a good or service, that is the price. Any other philosopy is socialism pure and simple.

  15. waterboy says:

    With Decatur’s logic, I guess that it is alright for food outlets in Baton Rouge to charge higher prices for their food since demand there is higher with the influx of displaced families and disaster assistance workers. I’m told they are running out of food at several area diners. So I guess they should charge more in this “free market” – what a concept.

  16. Decaturguy says:

    I belive in the free market. I don’t know why there would be any shortage of food in the Baton Rouge area.

    However, if there truly was a shortage in food in Baton Rouge, the only way to manage the food supply so that everyone can get some food instead of only those at the front of the line getting all of the food and the food running out for those in the back of the line is to increase the price, so that the people at the front of the line eat less and don’t eat up all of the food and there is something left for those in the back of the line. Otherwise, the front of the line people will eat all of the food and the back of the liners will starve. You wouldn’t want that to happen now would you Waterboy?

    It is called managing scarce resources. The free market system really works well and shouldn’t be tinkered with. Of course, the truly needy and penniless are now being provided free food from the government assistance programs.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    30 trucks? Wow! That’s a big caravan, Albert. Thanks for letting me know the outcome.

    Waterboy, if you think a $0.15 per gallon drop in the price of gasoline is something to be grateful for, allow me to do some math for you:

    My Honda Accord takes 15 gallons of gas. Shaving $0.15 off the price of a gallon saves me $2.25…marginally, that doesn’t amount to ahill of beans to my pocketbook (BTW, do you know what “marginally” means?)

    On the typical UGA-Bubba SUV that needs 40 gallons to fill-up, that makes for a $6.00 decrease. If you can afford to pay for an SUV, $6 is p—ed away in a 6-pack of beer.

    All these scenarios presume that the price of gasoline either stays exactly where it is or comes down.

    The fact is, the Governor’s move is similar to the “sales tax holiday” in that it “sounds really good,” but it doesn’t make the impact on the consumer’s pocketbook that you might think it does.

    I’d rather the gas stations collect that money and pay it to the state and let the state use that money to directly help the victims of Katrina that are streaming into Georgia rather than simply forego the cash. Now we have to pay DOUBLE to help the Katrina refugees: 1) We pay for the extra load on state and local government and 2) we are not getting revenue from the gas tax that we could use as humanitarian aid so that we’re not helping ourselves into the financial drink.

  18. waterboy says:

    Bill –
    Thanks for showcasing the fact you are a pompous ass. You make the case for me. As for the state “giving” money to the Katrina catastrophe….you need to learn a little about the state budget. Congratulations again.

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