Thoughts on How San Angelo Drivers Can Find Relief at the Pump?
We are lucky here in Texas. We don't pay a state income tax. Many states do have state income taxes and some of them have come up with an idea. Since these record high gas prices are hurting many drivers, why not give some sort of tax rebate to help cover the costs.
Several states have already temporarily suspended their gasoline tax which averages 30 cents a gallon in many states. Georgia, Maryland and Connecticut suspended their state tax on gasoline. In California, the governor proposes every state taxpayer get a rebate of $400. In California with gas prices over $6 a gallon, that wouldn't go very far.
Here in Texas, the gasoline tax is just 20-cents a gallon. That wouldn't even cover the price increase that happened last week between Monday and Thursday.
On the federal level, three congressional leaders have proposed a $100 energy rebate payment sent to American tax payers any month where the national average tax price is higher than $4 a gallon. Called the "Gas Rebate Act of 2022" Of all the proposals out there, this one seems to make the most sense to me. However, it should be a bit more and targeted to lower income taxpayers, in my humble opinion.
Other proposals include taxing Big Oil and using the proceeds to offer rebate checks to Americans. I'm not sure that would work, since the last thing we want to do now is make it less profitable for oil companies to provide us with the only permanent way out of the dilemma we're in which is increasing the supply of oil.
In the absence of any price relief with the war in Ukraine raging on, perhaps the best solutions include looking at electric vehicles, working on driving less, concentrating on measures to promote fuel economy and shopping for the lowest prices.
Some ways to save money gasoline include:
1) Changing your driving habits and consolidating trips wherever possible
2) It sounds like a cliché, but it really helps to make sure your tires are properly inflated.
3) Switch to Synthetic oil. Synthetic oils can make a significant difference in your engine by improving efficiency. It is more costly however.
4) Use grocery store rewards programs. Many grocery stores offer rewards programs that allow you to collect points to pay for part of your gas costs.
5) Pay cash as many gasoline retailers offer a better price if you do.
6) If you buy gas with a credit card, use a card that offers cash back on every purchase.
7) Shop for a more fuel efficient car. Can you live with a smaller vehicle?
8) Buy gas at retailers that offer fuel rewards programs.
9) Know when the price of gas is lowest, usually Monday, Tuesday as opposed to closer to the weekend.
10) Use gas apps to shop around for the lowest prices. But, don't drive too far to find it or you will defeat the purpose.
In the end what goes up must come down. During the peak of the pandemic, when no one was going anywhere, gas prices deflated to around $2 a gallon in some spots. Gas prices have historically gone very high only to come back down again. In the meantime, cutting back and utilizing savings measures is the most prudent way to go. Quietly, I'm backing the $100 rebate on our federal taxes every month the average price stays above $4 a gallon. If our government can't do anything to help with the prices, perhaps we deserve a refund of some of our tax dollars to help. It's the very least they can do.