On March 10, 2009, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced that she is supporting “[Alaska State] Senator Bettye Davis’ bill to extend the state’s suspension of the motor fuel tax” (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶1). “Senate Bill 14 extends a portion of the governor’s multi-phase statewide energy plan she introduced last year to help Alaskans combat the high cost of energy” (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶1).
Heating and fuel bills in Alaska can be double or even triple those of the 48 conterminous states (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶2).
By not taxing gasoline sold at the pump, the average price in Alaska is $2.51/gallon, which is still 30 cents per gallon more than in California “according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report” In Hawaii, gasoline is $2.44/gallon, 7 cents cheaper than Alaska (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶3).
“The concept is that this bill will help stimulate the economy during the current recession,” Senator Davis said. “It will grant relief to all consumers of motor fuel, including aircraft, watercraft and standard motor vehicles” (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶4).
“I appreciate Senator Davis’ efforts on this,” Palin said. “So do Alaskan families that are really feeling the pinch. The average commuter driving between Anchorage and the Valley fills up their rig at least twice a week; these costs add up quickly. By extending our gas tax suspension, Alaskans, such as these commuters, will continue to save their hard-earned money, and government will learn to live on a tighter budget” (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶5).
Gasoline taxes are a major factor in elevated fuel costs. Because taxes are usually at a percentage, as the pre-tax price of fuel climbs, the final taxed price climbs very much higher. This author has observed that in New York City, gasoline prices hover around $2.05 to $2.15 for a gallon of regular gasoline. In New Jersey, the price is at least 30 cents cheaper. Sometimes, New Jersey is 60 cents cheaper. Why? New Jersey has some of the cheapest gasoline taxes in the nation — and interestingly under New Jersey state law, gasoline must be pumped by a station attendant — there is no self-service in that state.
Alaska is a remote state and getting there by land requires entering and leaving a foreign country. This is one reason why when you mail/Internet order goods, they always cost more to ship to Alaska. If Alaskans are paying $2.51/gallon without a state tax, imagine what a gallon would cost with the tax — it could be well over $3, approaching $4.
This author knows of only one state in the union and one governor who lobbied for and successfully got a state gasoline tax suspended. The one state is Alaska and the one governor is Sarah Palin. States make a killing off high gas prices; giving up this cash cow is something most states are loathe to do. The closing sentence of the Governor’s press release says it all and bears repeating: “By extending our gas tax suspension, Alaskans, such as these commuters, will continue to save their hard-earned money, and government will learn to live on a tighter budget” (Motor Fuel, 2009, Â¶5).
This is Reagan conservatism. It is true economic stimulus. It is a very significant executive accomplishment — one that carries over from long before many of us even knew who Governor Palin is. This governor got a state gasoline tax suspended and is now poised to continue the suspension. Governor Palin is without a doubt quite ready to be President Palin.
AAA Fuel Gauge Report. (2009). AAA. Retrieved March 11, 2009 from: http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/
Governor Palin supports extending motor fuel tax suspension. (2009, March 10). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 11, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1700