Talon News - Good Local News

The Fuel Review


February 23, 2018

TALON readers have asked: “Why are Durango fuel prices lower than Aztec?” We have assigned a local reporter to the task.

This week in the world of fuel, we’ve had average prices of 2.53 dollars per gallon in our New Mexico cities of Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield for regular unleaded gasoline. In Durango, Colorado unleaded regular has averaged 2.28 dollars per gallon.

In attempts to understand the disparities between the gas prices of cities just 36 miles from each other, we’ve looked at differences in State and Federal taxes only to find that Colorado retailers actually pay more in taxes than local, New Mexico retailers. We also verified that by and large, Durango gas retailers get their gasoline from the very same refineries as their New Mexican counterparts.

If we’ve learned anything about fuel taxes and distribution, it is that we are all getting our gas from the same place at presumably a similar price. So, although there are endless factors that affect oil prices (not the least of which include weather, geo-political issues and pipeline disturbances), for our purposes, we can focus on the post refinery commerce of gasoline; the transition from wholesale to retail.

Colorado businesses pay employees a higher minimum wage than New Mexico businesses: Colorado minimum wage is $10.20 as of January 1, 2018 and New Mexico the state minimum of $7.25 is effective here in San Juan County. Other aspects of overhead include rents, utilities and other miscellaneous business expenses. But, are these expenses higher in New Mexico? If so, do these costs differ enough to account for New Mexico buyers paying an extra 25 cents per gallon over the cost of gasoline across the Colorado border?

If you have information about this topic, send us a note to [email protected]


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