Thursday, September 14, 2000

Indiana gas tax suspended again

By Mike Smith
The Associated Press

        INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Frank O'Bannon extended the suspension of a state sales tax for a second time Wednesday because of another price spike at the pump and declining crude oil supplies.

        Suspension of the 5 percent sales tax was due to expire Friday night but will be extended through midnight Sept. 30.

        “I'm extending the sales-tax suspension until the end of the month as we watch the volatility and availability of crude oil and gasoline, ...” Mr. O'Bannon said in a telephone interview. “I feel that we're in a very difficult time here.”

        After Mr. O'Bannon first sus pended the tax on July 1, gasoline prices dropped to among the lowest in the nation. But in late August he extended the suspension until Sept. 16, saying it would give motorists extra savings through the Labor Day weekend and allow retailers time to prepare for the adjustment.

        But since Labor Day, prices have steadily increased and supplies have dropped in the Midwest, Mr. O'Bannon said.

        He cited industry analysts as reporting that supplies of crude oil in the United States are near their lowest level in 24 years, and down by 9.4 percent from their five-year average in the Midwest.

        Although prices in Indiana hit a low point of about $1.26 per gallon of regular unleaded on Aug. 7, the average price on Wednesday was $1.53, according to the American Automobile Association.

        The AAA put the average price per gallon at about $1.54 in Ohio and Kentucky, $1.56 in Illinois and $1.66 in Michigan. Hawaii had the highest prices, at $1.66 per gallon. Georgia was lowest at $1.42, and the national average was $1.57.

        The first 81 days of the suspension have cost the state about $28 million in revenue. It could cost another $6 million over the next 15 days.

        Mr. O'Bannon is relying on a 1981 statute allowing a governor to declare an “energy emergency” for up to 60 days and to extend it another 60 days.


Arena needs financial help
The hungry get the runaround
Playing with gun leaves boy dead at 13
Earlier case has striking similarity
$1 million departure: Jewel-laden bag missing from flight
Mason boys: 10 hours, 30 days
Report: Sprawl bad in Mason
Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati opens this weekend
Fort Thomas woman left amid filth
Prosecutors's balloons, discs raise questions
PULFER: Love letters
Davy Jones won't be monkeying around
Best sellers
Dulli finds some peace
Early word
Piping's peak: Cincinnati players open for Black Watch
Seniors strike personal poses
Union Terminal bustled with activity in '30s
WorldJam trades asphalt for Sawyer Point
Attorneys argue obligation of insurer in sex-abuse case
Auditor wants full authority
Boy, 6, sent to school as girl
Chabot, Cranley get tough in ads
County agrees to ante up
Fairfield theme is respect, beginning with 'Your School'
Father's statements recounted to court
Feds: Restaurants broke child labor laws
- Indiana gas tax suspended again
Industrial park might get rail access
Ken Blackwell recovering from prostate cancer surgery
Kicks offers kids, families an evening on the riverfront
Kiwanis to hold safety fair
Lawyers for suspect, 52, argue he's still a juvenile in 1963 slaying
Money offered in pool death
Nine teachers now semifinalists
Nuns offer tours of Motherhouse in Delhi Twp. on Sunday
Panel to study DUI prosecutions
Pete Rose bats for Deters
Pledge protester back in class
Police officer honored as a hero
Runway OK moving slowly
Warren gets med copter
Get to it
Kentucky News Briefs
Pig Parade: Pig-Tac-Toe
Tristate A.M. Report