October 24, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC – Heading somewhere? According to AAA Carolinas, gasoline in South Carolina today is 12 cents on the average less than seven days ago. The big news is that a 12 cent drop in a week is the largest decline since 2008.
A driver will pay $3.36 in South Carolina, compared to $3.48 a week ago but still 11 cents more than a year ago.
Our neighbors in North Carolina will pay $3.58 – 22 cents more per gallon that a SC driver. That is about the difference in North Carolina and South Carolina state taxes and fees. North Carolina adds 24.6 cents more in state taxes and fees per gallon than does SC.
So why isn’t the difference uniform? Gas prices in Little River is averaging $3.36 while just across the line in Calabash, the price is $3.47 – only around a ten cent difference. Why not 24 cents?
Patrick DeHann, of Blog.GasBuddy.com, says, “Competition is the biggest determinant of price and border prices have to respond to stations nearby.” The stations don’t want you to have a big price incentive to go a few more miles.
If gas prices and what drives them interest you, go to Patrick’s Blog. Of the many articles I found interesting one stood out because of how close we are to November 6. It is titled “Elections and gas prices connected. Absurd!”Read it and see if you agree with DeHann.
Do lower gas prices mean a fall boom for the local tourism industry? According to Marion Edmonds, spokesman for South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), falling gas price are not necessarily good or bad news. SCPRT has looked at the relationship, not just in SC but elsewhere, and found that when the changes are not extreme, gas prices do not have an impact.
For example, the visitor from Charlotte driving a 20 mpg vehicle will only save $1.17; Charleston, WV $2.66 or from Ontario, CA $5.63 from the twelve cent drop. Not much of an inducement.