I consider it a costly lesson learned

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 06:07 PM.

Something smells funny around here and it’s not gas — at least not mine. Or is it?

While it’s not a gas leak, it could be a gas scam. Certainly the obligations I allegedly have with the propane provider, the price of their gas, and their added surcharges smell and look funny to me of late.

I was unpleasantly surprised at the cost per gallon of propane gas delivered to our home last month to the tune of $4.499 per gallon. I’m not sure of the reason for the 49.9 cents. It might as well be a nice even $4.50 a gallon. This exorbitant price per gallon multiplied by 146 gallons to top off our buried propane tank came to a whopping $649.55.

Almost exactly two years ago in February 2011, I filled the same propane tank from the same propane company for $2.756 per gallon. Now I know the price of propane gas has increased of late like everything else. And shortages of propane in some parts of our nation have been in the news. I understand the economics of supply and demand.

But a 40 percent increase in two years? On top of the increase in the price of the propane itself, in 2011 I paid a fuel “surcharge” (whatever that is) of $3.95 for that nearly 100-gallon delivery of gas — and nothing else except one tax surcharge.

Last month in addition to the — pardon the pun — explosive increase in the price per gallon of propane in just two years, I paid:  a transportation surcharge, a safety P&T (I’ve been advised that’s “Program and Training”) surcharge, and two tax surcharges, one a sales tax surcharge and the second a municipal tax surcharge.

I’d like to know from what municipality I’m gaining the tax benefits living out here in unincorporated Onslow County, counties generally not defined as municipalities. On the other hand, the law may define a county as a municipality, pointing out the vagrancies of the law.

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