Time for a rant!
I'm constantly reading in the editorial pages of the Pilot letters from people that want to compare New Jersey and her “you can't pump your own gas” laws with the situation we have here in Hampton Roads.
I travel to New Jersey often. I have family there and I also work up there occasionally. First off, gas is ALWAYS cheaper in New Jersey than it is here in Hampton Roads. I'm not talking a penny or two here. Gas is usually at least 10 cents cheaper in a state where additional employees have to be paid to pump the gas. I gased up in NJ before I left and I paid $1.99! Did you get that? Less than 2 dollars! According to the web site gaspricewatch.com, NJ state gas taxes are lower than VA gas taxes. It’s only a 3 cent difference, but somehow this equates to a 10 cent difference in gas prices.
Second, the roads are NEVER as crowded up there as they are here and there are probably twice as many people per square mile in New Jersey than in Hampton Roads.
Third, contrary to the popular belief of many southerners, not all the roads in the northeast are toll roads and those that are run much faster than all the free roads in this area. Tolls actually help to meter traffic onto the main thoroughfare thus controlling the level of traffic on any road.
That takes care of the gas issue. Now let's talk about taxes. My parents have a house that's very similar to mine here in Virginia Beach. They don't live in as nice a neighborhood as I do here but they pay more than 3 times the property taxes I pay. They have no sidewalk in front of their house. The town they live in and for that matter most towns in NJ don't have a paid fire department. Most towns in NJ only have volunteer fire houses. So, what are all those taxes paying for you ask? I haven't been able to figure that out. Probably going into some politico's pocket. Much of it probably goes for the high cost of union labor for things like road improvements and municipal upkeep. The only thing I’ve seen in NJ as far as municipal niceties that we don’t have here is that you don’t have to bag up your leaves in the fall, you can push them to the curb and the town will pick them up. Of course, this creates another problem, no on street parking!
Hope that helps those of you that don't have a clue about the northeast. Now lets talk about Virginia and the issues we have here.
Someone please explain to me how gas on the Eastern shore of Virginia can be 20 cents cheaper than the gas on Northampton Blvd. Think about this for a minute. Fuel trucks have to drive down the eastern shore to deliver their fuel. Fuel trucks are not allowed on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. They must drive down the eastern shore, deliver their fuel and drive back empty. EVERY gas station on Route 13 on Virginia's eastern shore is cheaper than most gas stations in Virginia Beach. Prices this Monday ranged from $2.05 to $2.09 and prices on Northampton Blvd. on Monday were anywhere from $2.20 to $2.29. That my friends is price gouging!
I’ll be the first to shout from the mountain tops against government regulation of private business, but the oil companies are screwing us here folks. EXXON/MOBIL consistently posts record setting profits in the billions of dollars and the American consumer gets nothing for it but higher prices. Why is it that when OPEC flinches and raises the price of a barrel of crude oil we see it at the pump immediately, but when the price of a barrel of crude drops we don’t see it at the pump for weeks?