Things to consider with gas tax - Tucson Local Media: Letters To Editor

Things to consider with gas tax

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Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 4:00 am

Re “Huckelberry talks taxes, economic development at chamber breakfast”

Before Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry even thinks about imposing a 10-cent per gallon gasoline tax on Pima County, gasoline station owners first must have to install pumps equipped with automatic temperature compensation (ATC). As it currently stands, high temperatures in Pima County cheat every person who fills up at a pump, in effect giving a tax benefit to Pima County and a profit benefit to station owners that exceeds the proposed 10-cent tax increase. 

In the U.S., station owners buy wholesale gas based on a reference temperature of 60F. Then they sell it at retail to Pima County residents where ground temperatures are much higher. At 85F, 10 gallons of gasoline expands to about 10.15 gallons. So when you fill up your car you may be pumping and paying for 10.15 gallons of gasoline by volume but are actually receiving only 10 gallons of fuel. This not only reduces the mileage you think your car is getting, it also means you are being overcharged. You are paying for gas you did not receive!  At higher temperatures, such as during Pima County summers, the differential is even greater. 

Pumps with automatic temperature compensation measure the fuel temperature when the fuel is metered to you and automatically adjust the volume dispensed. With ATC, you are not overcharged. Ten gallons of gas pumped at one station in Pima County equals 10 gallons of gas at another. Currently that is NOT the case.

I suggest Mr. Huckelberry look out for the residents of Pima County by requiring station owners to install pumps equipped with ATC whether or not a gas tax proposal is presented. But certainly a changeover to pumps equipped with ATC  should be a requirement before any gas tax increase is even considered.


Lois Berkowitz,

Oro Valley 

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