Gas prices are dropping, but why is Ohio so much cheaper? | New

Gasoline prices in Crawford County and northwestern Pennsylvania continue to drop, but motorists are fuming that it still costs less just across the border in Ohio.

Crawford’s average price for a gallon of gasoline on Monday was $3.95 a gallon and fell another 6 cents to $3.89 by the end of the week.

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Getting a fix on gasoline prices is a moving target that changes daily or even hourly. Thus, prices based on canvassing gas stations on Monday morning could be different from those taken later in the day.

In addition, not all service stations are contacted, which can also skew the results. and there are offers there.

Just across the border from Ohio, the Trumbull County average was $3.30, well below northwestern Pennsylvania prices and the national average of $3.67.

So why is gasoline more expensive on this side of the border — and even in the rest of the country?

One factor is fairly well known, Ohio’s gas tax is 38.5 cents per gallon compared to Pennsylvania which is 57.5 cents. Only California has a higher gasoline tax at 68 cents. But more on that later.

There are other pitfalls.

Ohio prices are set in Chicago markets, which have access to cheaper Canadian oil. Western Pennsylvania prices come from the Port of New York, where more expensive oil is imported from the Middle East and other overseas countries.

Last week, the spot price of gasoline was $2.72 in New York versus $2.54 in Chicago, a difference of 18 cents per gallon.

And then there are the transportation costs, according to Jim Garrity, a Pittsburgh-based AAA spokesman.

“Philadelphia’s refineries serve a lot of our area, and the transportation costs to get the gas here is a big factor,” he said. “If you live in an area far from pipelines, it increases delivery costs. »

California motorists pay some of the highest prices in the country for gasoline; it currently averages $5.43 a gallon.

But in October, the West Coast state launched a degassing program.

The $9.5 billion tax refund program will provide one-time payments of up to $1,050 to select families.

To be eligible, residents must have filed their 2020 tax returns by October 15, 2021, lived in the state for six months or more in 2020, and cannot be claimed as a dependent in 2020. Beneficiaries must also be a California resident on the payment issue date.

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