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'Everything on the table' as potential solution to soaring gas prices

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson.

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

FINANCIAL Secretary Simon Wilson said “everything is on the table” as a potential solution to soaring gas prices, including tax relief.

The Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association met government officials on Wednesday to discuss the issue. They had threatened to go on strike this holiday weekend. However Vasco Bastian, the association’s vice-president, told Tribune Business on Wednesday that New Providence residents and businesses will be able to “fill up their vehicles at the station of their choice” as normal following the meeting with government officials.

“Yesterday the prime minister and the minister of economic affairs, along with the parliamentary secretary of economic affairs and senior officials, met with the Petroleum Retailers Association,” Mr Wilson said at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday.

“The retailers came in and had a discussion about the impact of high fuel prices on their operations. You may be aware retailers operate with a fixed margin in terms of fuel so they get 54 cents for every gallon of fuel that is sold and so high prices really impact retailers in a very adverse manner. The prime minister undertook to look at the issue with the retailers. “They are gonna provide us with some more information in terms of what their options are and hopefully within one week or so we will come and have a next meeting and finalise what type of support can be provided to the retailers without adversely impacting the public, the consumers of fuel.”

Some experts have warned against reducing taxes in response to the problem. However, others, including Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard, have called on the government to give serious consideration to tax relief.

“Everything is on the table,” Mr Wilson said about taxes. “There is no easy solution and that’s one of the things that was raised by retailers yesterday in terms of some type of tax relief. It’s a fixed margin so what has happened is as fuel prices increase, their operating margin has now gone down in some cases to less than 10 percent, their gross margin. They have employees, they have overhead and so forth, so everything is on the table. We have to balance the need for them to have a return on the business in comparison to not impacting the public. This is an environment of higher fuel prices so there is a balancing act that needs to take place.”

Comments

tribanon 2 years, 1 month ago

Meanwhile, the very disingenuous dumb arse Halkitis is trying to mislead Bahamians into thinking government does not enjoy windfall profits from its gasoline tax whenever the price of a gallon increases at the pumps.

Of course, that would only be true if government's gasoline tax was a fixed amount per gallon no matter the price of a gallon at the pumps. But the government's gasoline tax is a fixed rate based on the price per gallon at the pumps. In other words, the higher the price per gallon, the more tax the government rakes in.

Fat headed Halkitis obviously thinks most Bahamians are D - educated to the point where they would not know the difference between a fixed amount of tax per gallon no matter the price per gallon and a fixed rate of tax per gallon which means the tax collected goes up as the price per gallon increases.

Bottom line: You can't trust a damn thing coming out of the mouth of any of these buffoonish and most deceitful idiots; they have no shame whatsoever.

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Socrates 2 years, 1 month ago

people help me understand.. if your margin is fixed, why do you 'hurt' because the price went uo? is it because customers may buy less? no sarcasm, i'm serious.

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ohdrap4 2 years, 1 month ago

Unlike the price controlled items, their margin is not fixed by a percentage.

So, if you are a dealer and buy gas at 5.00, your price at the pump is 5.45. So your profit margin is 9%.

If you buy the gas at 8.00, your price at the pump is 8.45. So your profit is 0.45÷8 or 5.6%.

Now let's look at the eggs, the margin is fixed by percentage, 10%. If you buy eggs for 5 dollars you sell at 5.50.

If you buy eggs for 8 dollars, you sell for 8.80.

So yes, like Tribanon says, the margin for tha dealer is set by amount and not percentage.

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sheeprunner12 2 years, 1 month ago

If a dealer buys 10,000 gallons of gas this week from the wholesaler for $5.00 and sells it, he makes $50,000. What if during the week it goes up by 10 cents? How much would that same 10,000 gallons cost the following week? Who is going to pay the difference?

That is how the dealer loses from rising oil prices .......

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hrysippus 2 years, 1 month ago

Socrates. It takes money to run a business, primarily expenses and interest on loans. If, and this is an example only, it takes 5% of gross turnover to meet the costs of running a gas station then as the net profit as a percentage of turnover decreases then it will reach a point where the business is not meeting expenses and becomes uneconomic.

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bcitizen 2 years, 1 month ago

Well despite decreasing margins as a %. Banks take 4% if you use a card to pay for your purchase. So when gas is now close to 7 dollars the bank takes .28 cents of the .54 cents allowed for cards and government and banks are in a big push to go cashless. How can people pay to run a service station? Government making money, bank making money but, the merchant makes less and less. Bank card charges are a hidden tax no one thinks about. Imagine handling money basically via computer which costs nothing and getting 4% on every transaction.

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hrysippus 2 years, 1 month ago

Translation from government bureaucratic doublespeak: "Everything is on the table." = "we do not have a clue what to do,"

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 1 month ago

lol. Just flipped here, havent read the article "yet", but everytime I see Mr Wilson photo talking about a solution to money shortfalls I see an image with blood coming from stone. Lemme read the comments first and see if I on the right track

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TalRussell 2 years, 1 month ago

This is what happens when the fuel pump retailers become the stage for Financial Secretary Simon Wilson to practice his vocal techniques on? ... At the pump retailers having a discussion about the impact of high fuel prices on their operations means nothing, being the retailers, must under constant threat of losing their stations are required to charge gas customers, whatever price they'd be told by gas suppliers to charge at the pumps.... Think comrades Simon Wilson and Clintee Big Fella Watson, both have the same vocal technique coach, ― Yes?

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Maximilianotto 2 years, 1 month ago

Best is Shell franchise adds 10% water similar to ruining Blue Hill power plant with toxic and dirty fuel. Who cares.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

Government makes $1.27 on each gallon of gas and the retailers make FIFTY FOUR CENTS, regardless of what price gasoline diesel is being sold for. Yet government cannot keep the roads in good repair. When the fixed margins came into effect, the retailers realized they could not stay in business just selling gas products. When the fifty-four cents fixed rate came into effect, gas stations were closing down like clockwork. Some stations operators were foreclosed on, then locked out or forcibly removed from their gas stations. Only the operatators that owned their stations were able to survive. They were able to offer additional services , like tire and battery sales , tire repairs and oil change etc. Some started selling soft drinks and convenience items to make up the shortfall. Then the oil dealers ‘renovated’ the stations turning them into convenience stores and take-away restaurants selling everything from coffee and fried chicken to cigarettes and corned beef. And this was not without protests from food stores and restaurants. And it put additional pressure on small mom and pop businesses and many closed. And the petroleum wholesalers, who owns most of the stations, got a percentage of everything that was sold at these stations. In fact it got so sophisticated, the retailers/ station operators could only purchase items to sell in their stations from certified sellers and this is how the oil dealers kept tabs on what was being sold. Today one must be of high net worth to become a gas station operator. Not do you have to stock out the oil products of gasoline and diesel but you have to stock out a conversation store and a fast food take-away. And because they are operating on such a small margin, dealers can easily go bankrupt before gaining enough experience to operate the gas stations successfully. Some experts say gas prices have peaked, at least for the interim and will be coming down over the next few weeks. But bear in mind that it was always the intention for the oil producers to get oil back up to $150 a barrel and to get gas/diesel prices up to $10-$15 a gallon worldwide. That is where the world is headed.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

They are trying the blame the oil/ gas prices on the war, but the oil companies have been trying to push oil prices up to $150 a barrel and gas and diesel prices up to $10-$15 a gallon for over a decade. China has again shut down a major port (due to Covid) which will result to additional disruptions to the supply chain. Remember when the US (for whatever reasons) shipped all its manufacturing jobs overseas. Now part of the supply chain problem is too many empty containers need to be shipped back to the Far East. When there is a balance of trade, ship loads of loaded containers would come from the Far East to tge US and ships will return to the Far Least with mostly loaded containers. But today it is mostly empty containers leaving the US and this is not only adding to the cost of shipping but a shortage of containers in the supply chain.

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tribanon 2 years, 1 month ago

ENOUGH OF ALL THE HOT AIR BS TALK.

CRUEL DAVIS SHOULD HAVE LONG AGO GIVEN US A DESPERATELY NEEDED GAS TAX HOLIDAY THROUGH THE END OF THIS YEAR.

MANY PEOPLE ARE HURTING BADLY WHILE GOVERNMENT'S COFFERS ARE ENJOYING A WINDFALL LEVEL OF GASOLINE TAX DUE TO THE HIGH FUEL PRICES.

AND OF COURSE, THE VERY GREEDY FRANKY WILSON, AKA SNAKE, IS LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK BECAUSE HIS FUEL SUPPLY MONOPOLY HAS NEVER BEEN MORE PROFITABLE AS HE CONTINUES TO TIGHTLY SQUEEZE THE PROFIT MARGINS OF THE GAS STATION OPERATORS IN ORDER TO ENRICH HIMSELF GREATLY AND MOST UNJUSTLY.

HOT AIR TALK AND PROMISES FROM ELITIST ELECTED OFFICIALS AND OVER-PAID GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS IS CHEAP. THE PEOPLE NEED ACTION, AND THEY NEED IT RIGHT NOW!

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tribanon 2 years, 1 month ago

Sir Franklyn Wilson, the FOCOL Holdings chairman, yesterday argued that the Government should reward gas station operators for their “prudent judgment” by giving them a small increase on their present 54 cent per gallon fixed margin “as soon as circumstances allow”

This greedy SOB, aka Snake, wants us, the honest hard working financially strapped taxpayers, to subsidize his insatiable greed. Snake, through the terms of his franchise agreements with the lion's share of the gas station operators, literally controls all of the key parameters that determine their profit margins.

And like the very greedy boa constrictor that he truly is, Snake tightly squeezes the gas station operators until they squeal to make sure he ends up pocketing a disproportionate share of the profits generated by their operations.

This is one member of the ruling political class who should never have been allowed to develop a de facto monopoly over our country's supply of fuel. We should all be dreading the thought of the whopping light bills coming our way this Summer thanks to Snake's insatiable greed.

Cruel Davis should be giving us a Gas Tax Holiday for the rest of this year, and the greedy Snake should ease up on his own very tight squeezing of the gas station operators he supplies fuel to at higher than necessary prices aimed at keeping their profit margins to the minimum possible.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

The Brave Davis government apparently seems hell-bent on scoring points with its foreign masters and international observers, rather than catering to the needs of the Bahamian people. And it appears the intent is to tax Bahamians out of existence. They’ve already hounding Bahamians for property taxes, which under the Minnis Administration, have been doubled, tripled and even quadrupled. And this is in the wake of a pandemic where many people are just getting back to work or getting their businesses back up and running. And remember, many of the foreign companies have concessions on these taxes and don’t have to pay them. They are also chasing businesses down for business license fees and vat and national insurance remittances, even though the Minnis Administration gave businesses some leeway with the understanding that many were closed for long periods of time or with the understanding that businesses that were open did not lay off or terminate staff, and so these businesses kept their part of the deal, now this heartless Davis government is reniging on its part. The facts are, the Bahamian economy is not ailing or crippled and the Davis Administration is seeing as much to FIVE times more revenue than the Minnis Administration saw over it’s last two years in office ( when the pandemic was in full effect). And, apparently this how Minnis was duped into calling an early election. Under the premise that the economy will be ailing for several more years and Millions more Dollars would have to be borrowed. But a recession is not predicted for at least another year, so rather than continuously sending out economic shock waves and killing consumer and investors confidence. Davis dem needs to stimulate the economy and let it grow.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

Then watch as they try to sneak or force these ‘funny and unpopular’ bill’s into law. The marital rape bill, for example, that destroys the sanctity of marriage by giving powers to persons joining in holy matrimony to withdraw consent. And this bill is not for the benefit of Bahamians. It is for many who come to The Bahamad and get married for business partnership and at least one of the parties never intended to submit or be intimate . The bill will also cater to the LGBQTrsvp community where rape between two parties of the same sex is apparently common. Females on females more so. So the bill will silently and more secretly redefine marriage to be an intimate relationship between any two consenting adults. It will no longer be a relationship between a male and a female and it will not require that a marriage be consummated to be legal. So either or both partners does not have to consent or become intimate from the outset of the relationship. Then there is the legalization of the sex workers bill( or is it also attached or included in the marital rape bill? So apparently prostitution is already legal in the country but this bill would give the sex workers the right to solicit. In the casinos for sure, on the beach maybe and at certain public events. Concerts, carnival for sure and Junkanoo?? How about the Fish Fry or potters Cay?

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Flyingfish 2 years, 1 month ago

This country needs to ditch gas and go electric. Investment needs to be placed in public transport. We don't produce oil and we will always pay extra at are expense. This situation is the exact reason we should move away from it. This countries security is in high stakes. However:

  1. Dis will hurt some wealthy elite so it most likely wont happen ( same reason the government silent on it now)

  2. The Jitney drivers will make noise despite running a pop down system(Don't even have a bus map or timetable)

  3. The taxi drivers will make noise that they cant charge tourist exorbitant prices anymore at the expense of their fellow citizen.

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