Gas price surge positively impacting consumption
Bay City News
July 1, 2007
Rising gas prices in California has led to less activity at the
pumps, according to a California State Board of Equalization report.
Californians used 27.5 million gallons less in the first quarter
of 2007 than in the same period last year, the report said.
While Californians used slightly more gasoline in March, the
gains were not enough to offset steeper drops in February, according
to the study.
"This is the fourth consecutive quarter that Californians
pumped less amid rising gas prices," said Betty T. Yee, Board
of Equalization chairwoman.
March figures went up by only 750,000 gallons, and January also
showed minor increases, Yee said. But February's figures brought
down the quarterly figures, with consumption dipping by 31.6 million
Over the past five years, Californians have used an average of
15.7 billion gallons of gasoline annually, according to the report.
During the 2006 calendar year, Californians consumed 15.83 billion
gallons, down from 15.94 billion a year earlier.
The first quarter of 2007's average pump price of $2.81 was 28
cents above prices during the first quarter of 2006, the report
said. The higher prices generated approximately $860 million in
sales tax during that quarter, an estimated $83 million more than
the first quarter of 2006.
The Board estimated that nearly twice as much sales tax is generated
annually by higher gasoline prices than five years ago.
In 2006, sales tax revenues from gasoline sales were estimated
to be $3.2 billion, while 2002's gasoline sales generated $1.7
billion. The State's excise tax, 18 cents collected on every gallon,
has remained relatively stable, according to the Board.
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