By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
A big hunk of
what consumers pay for gasoline is – surprise, surprise – taxes, federal,
state, local; excise, sales, “other.”
So in a border
town like Trenton, at least some of the difference residents see between
per-gallon prices at home and further afield is in the variation in state and
local taxes. These costs are prepaid by the station operator and figured into
the price listed at the pump.
First, the Feds
take 18.4 cents per gallon. The states get a bigger piece of the action, but
that varies from state to state.
levy on a gallon of gas is not as heavy as Georgia’s: It’s 20 cents excise plus
1.4 “other,” so 21.4 cents. Alabama’s total is a bit lower, 20.9
excise tax on gas is 7.5 cents, plus “other” state taxes of 24.5, which figure
includes the 4 percent sales tax, for a state total of 32 cents per gallon.
independent station operator showed the Sentinel a distributor invoice listing
“Dade County tax” per gallon at .097. This bewildered the Dade Tax
Commissioner’s office as well as County Clerk Don Townsend, who said the operator
should question his distributor: All Dade collects off gas is the local three
cents which, added to the statewide sales tax of four, brings total local sales
taxes up to seven cents on the dollar.
“One penny is
the local option sales tax, the second is the special purpose local option
sales tax, and the third penny is the educational special purpose local option
sales tax,” said Townsend.
foreshortened to LOST, SPLOST and ESPLOST, and though special rules apply to
how they may be used, local governments and school boards depend on them so
heavily to finance everything from courthouses to patrol cars to French horns
for the band, one might say they’d be “LOST” without them.
another tax fact: Angry consumers have spoken of boycotting the gas stations in
Trenton proper. County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley explained that that
wouldn’t hurt Trenton city sales tax collections as long as drivers buy their
fuel within Dade County. The 80/20 county/city split of local sales taxes, reexamined
and renegotiated every 10 years, he said, is figured by population and does not
take into account whether revenues were collected within the city or out in
snippet the Sentinel picked up in passing is from Angie Galloway of the Dade
Tax Commissioner’s office: The TAVT (Title Ad Valorem Tax) on car sales is
generating more revenue for the county than was anticipated.
This tax took
the place of ad valorem sales tax on cars as of March, Ms. Galloway explained,
and it was not known then what it would do to county revenues. At least so far,
the news is good, said Ms. Galloway: The tax, rather than being collected only
on new cars, applies to all auto sales even from neighbor to neighbor; and
though over 50 percent goes to state of it goes to Georgia, Dade is seeing
enough income from it to make for a pleasant surprise.