To the editor:
Anyone who has filled their vehicle’s tank with gasoline has seen the “fractional” prices such as $4.499. That added 9/10th’s of a cent at the end may not seem like much, yet it adds up. Furthermore, it is deceptive.
Back in 1932, the Revenue Tax Act placed a federal tax of one cent on each gallon of gasoline. Gas stations didn’t want to lose business by raising their prices that much. Instead, they increased the price on every gallon by 9/10 of a cent. Customers hardly noticed. And gas stations were able to continue pulling in the profits.
Two years later, in 1934, Congress didn’t repeal the tax as it had intended, but increased it by a half-penny, Today, federal gasoline taxes stand at 18.4 cents a gallon. States have additional gas taxes. Although Congress may be unwilling to do a “Gas Tax Holiday,” the fractional 9/10ths on a gallon shown on the pumps should be abolished. A customer cannot split a penny in their wallet. Customers may feel better at $4.499 instead of $4.50, but it would be better to have straightforward pricing at the pump. I believe in truth in pricing.
Any imposed motor fuels taxes should be used for the upkeep of existing roadways and not diverted for other purposes.
James A. Marples