I've always known and recognized that gas prices in New York were considerably higher than in most of the surrounding area. I always remember gas prices in New Jersey being somewhat less expensive than elsewhere in the region, but always explained it away by the fact that the taxes in New Jersey are lower, and recently, the difference in the way New Jersey calculates tax (flat amount per gallon rather than a percentage) has been a significant factor. Of course, all of these factors combined never seemed to add up to the often approximately 40 cents per gallon differential, but since I wasn't going to drive to New Jersey just to buy cheaper gas, I didn't give it much thought.
But, why is the gas sold in Port Washington often much more expensive than much of the surrounding area? Why do the Shell stations on Shore Road charge more than the one on Port Washington Blvd? How does the BP station on Port Blvd charge the same amount for cash and credit sales, yet is consistently amongst the least expensive stations in Port? Why are the stations in Great Neck, with higher rents and overhead, almost always less expensive than ours in Port Washington?
This disparity really struck me a couple of days ago when I came back from Lindenhurst, and paid $3.93 per gallon at a name brand station, when the lowest price in Port Washington, on that same date, was nearly 20 cents higher. As I drove from the South Shore to the North Shore and East to West, along Rt. 25A, I observed gas prices continuously edging upward. Stations in different communities, often only a few blocks away, were charging as much as 20 cents per gallon more than others.
Sure, there are ways to explain away some of this difference. I have heard such explanations as cost of doing business, cost of trucking it in, dealer incentives, competition, etc. Yet, doesn't this sound somewhat "fishy" to you? Why are the stations in Port almost invariably the first to raise prices, and the last to lower them?