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Patience Is Key for Motorists Awaiting Gas Tax Break

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

Gas supplies in the Panhandle remain in worse shape than the rest of the state.

Benny Watford left the western Panhandle with half a tank and had trouble finding more.

Benny says, "We went about half a mile off the interstate, checked at the station, no gas, so we got back on, got off at the next one and out of three stations, we found one with gas."

Suppliers say it will be at least two weeks before any sense of normalcy returns.

Jim Smith of Florida Petroleum Marketers says, “So just don't hoard, don't buy gas if you don't have too, just conserve."

White bags over diesel pumps are becoming increasingly frequent.

One reason for a shortage of diesel is that it is being diverted west to the disaster area. Another reason is that some stations are refusing to stock diesel to make room for more profitable gas.

At the Capitol, 19 oil suppliers have been subpoenaed by Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson to produce cost and sales records.

Charles Bronson says, “And if someone is price gouging, we're going for the maximum amount of money we can charge, which is up to $25,000 a day.”

Jeb Bush continues to say motorists deserve a break on the gas taxes they pay.

“Working families need some relief. These prices are really tough for a lot of people,” says Bush.

It will take several weeks to get the subpoenaed information and at least two months before a tax break would kick in, if it kicks in at all.

If you have complaints about gas supplies or pricing, contact the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 1-800-HELP-FLA.


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