Where Your Gas Dollar Goes

The industry trade group EnergyTomorrow.org says that the price of the pump is distributed thusly: 

Crude Oil = 56 percent; 

Refining, distribution and service stations = 26 percent; 

Taxes = 18 percent.

Fortunately, New Jersey has one of the lowest state fuel taxes at 14.5 cents per gallon for gasoline and 17.5 cents per gallon for diesel. Unfortunately they've p*ssed it away by ignoring the Trust Fund status to divert it to other needs in our money-hungry state.

According to Trucklines, the federal fuel tax is 18.4. cents a gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel. The national average state fuel tax is 23.43 cents per gallon of gasoline and 23.63 cents per gallon for diesel.

That doesn't quite match the 18 percent taxes the EnergyTomorrow.org folks are quoting. But, you know how it is with statistics. There's lies, damned lies and statistics. And, anyway, EnergyTomorrow is talking about percent and the tax is assessed on a per gallon rate. Three dollars a gallon is still taxed at 18.4 cents, but the percentage drops.

But if you think gas is expensive, wait until you buy some corn flakes. The price of corn has sky rocketed because of the profit margin farmers see in selling the commodity for ethanol production.

In May 2005, a bushel of corn sold for $1.95. In May 2006, a bushel sold for $2.60. Last week, a bushel of corn sold for $3.72.

When corn goes up, your milk costs more because it costs more to buy other animal feedstock because farmers are growing more corn and, Yikes! everything's going up but your paycheck.

Copyright © 2007 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

Disclosure: From 1990 to 1996, Buccino worked for the New Jersey Motor Truck Association. In 1997, an editorial written The Independent Press of Bloomfield about federal fuel taxes won a prize in the New Jersey Chapter Society of Professional Journalists annual contest. Buccino also goes back a long ways with Kellogg's corn flakes and Dr. Dentons.

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