Drivers Get a Break at the Gas Pump

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

The barometer may be rising, but after a summer of record high prices at the pump we're finally seeing some relief. The statewide gas tax break began Sunday.

For taxi driver Earl Tomberline every cent counts, especially when it comes to filling up at the pump.

"Each taxi driver has to pay for their own gas, so when gas goes up it comes out of our pocket and it hurts,” says Tomberline, a taxi driver with Executive Taxi, Inc.

This month's gas tax break will help put about $50 back into Tomberline's pocket. The eight-cent tax break means more fun too.

"We normally take shorter trips in our boat when the gas prices are so high, so now that we have relief we're willing to fill it all the way up and take it all the way off shore and have more fun with the family," says Jody Kennedy, who owns a large boat.

The gas tax isn't only benefiting the average Joe. Local gas owners say more people are willing to come inside their stores and spend more now that they have more money in their pocket.

"People were paying two, five, ten dollars just to get by. When they realized it's cheap to fill up they spend more. Whatever it takes to get the traffic in," says Steve Daoud, owner of Easy Way BP off of Thomas Drive.

Prices in our area are cheaper than some neighboring states and Daoud says that helps keep visitors from filling up back home.

"We heard about it when we go here. It's helped tremendously. Gas is up around $1.90-something in Alabama. It's great because we're traveling back and forth," says Taylor Joyce, who's visiting from Alabama.

Although Taylor may only save a dollar or two, she says it adds up and when you add it up consumers should save about $60 million from the month-long tax break.

The gas tax break does not apply to diesel or other fuels. The lowered gas prices will run from August 1 until midnight August 31.


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