Sunday, January 1, 2023, Noon: Happy New Year! We’re back for another year of trying to get ahead of retail gas price hikes. 2022 was one of the most dramatic years for prices, starting the year around $3 a gallon, soaring to $5.19 in early June, and then slowly but surely working their way back to around $3 last month. What comes next?
For one, today is the day of the annual uptick in Michigan’s gas tax, moving from 27.2 cents to 28.6 cents per gallon, and I have made the adjustment in my spreadsheet. As noted in this article, “In 2016, Michigan’s gas tax was 19 cents per gallon, but has been raised to provide more funding for roads and infrastructure.” I don’t know about where you live, but here in west Michigan, we’ve seen a lot of road renovations in the last two years, including in my neighborhood.
What about gas prices this week? We’ve seen a serious uptick in wholesale prices the past two weeks, matching a milder move higher in the price of oil. With the new tax rate, I am estimating the 0-cent margin price to be $3.16, and current prices are in the $3.05 to $3.19 range. So, that suggests a hike is on the way, to $3.39 or so.
And, oops, it looks like I wrote this post just a bit too late, with $3.39’s already appearing in Lowell and elsewhere, led by Marathon. OK, fill up as soon as you can! -EA