As gas prices fall nationwide, some Sedalia area residents have been asking why prices seem to be higher in the area.
According to GasBuddy, as of Monday, Missouri gas prices fell 9 cents per gallon in the past week with an average price of $1.37 statewide Monday according to a survey of 3,940 gas stations. Gas in Missouri is 24.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. As of May 4, 2019, the Missouri average was $2.57.
Furthermore, according to GasBuddy, as of May 4, the average gas price in Kansas City was $1.44, $1.59 in Topeka, Kansas, and $1.67 in St. Louis. As far as area stores go, as of Wednesday morning, unleaded gas was $1.47 at Casey’s in Tipton, $1.49 at the Casey’s in Lincoln, $1.45 at Phillips 66 in Warsaw, $1.33 at Murphy USA in Boonville, $1.40 at Casey’s General Store in La Monte and $1.29 at Break Time in Warrensburg.
In Sedalia as of Wednesday afternoon, unleaded gas at eight various gas stations was $1.48 or $1.49.
Many local gas stations managers the Democrat spoke with said they did not know why gas prices were higher in the area than in some other parts of the state.
One Sedalia gas station said it goes off of how other competitors are pricing their gas.
“We get complaints all the time,” said Cindy Fosnow of Shell/Jiffy Stop on the 1700 block of West Broadway Boulevard. “However, I have absolutely no control over it. I just punch in the numbers of what my competitors are at my home office.”
Many of the stations also said the prices are dictated by the company’s corporate offices.
“We get an email saying please move gas down to this whenever they’re (corporate) ready to move it,” explained Anna Williams, general manager at Break Time in the 2800 block of West Broadway Boulevard.
Tiffany Hokaday, assistant manager at Casey’s in the 1900 block of West Main Street, said the same. As of Wednesday morning, the station’s unleaded gas was $1.48.
“Corporate sends us a message through the register telling us when to change and what to change to...” Hokaday said. “We just do whatever they (corporate) tell us to do. We don’t get to put it in anymore. We just authorize what they choose for us to have.”
According to MFA Oil Company in Columbia Senior Media Relations and Communications Specialist Adam Buckallew, gas prices can vary for a variety of reasons.
“Gas prices are heavily influenced by the price of crude oil and its refinement, which typically accounts for more than half of the price of a gallon of gasoline,” Buckallew told the Democrat. “Fuel prices can vary by market due to a number of factors including wholesale costs, state and federal taxes, transportation costs, the brand of fuel sold and competition.”
Some stations go by both, like Tiger Eagle Stop in Sedalia where unleaded gas was $1.48 Wednesday morning. Employee Melissa Rath said she was unsure why prices were higher in Sedalia than neighboring towns but said she had been “told by people it was because of the taxes in Sedalia.” The stop goes by both corporate’s guidance and competitors' prices.
“It’s pretty much from corporate but it’s also, we kind of go with what everyone else is in town,” Rath explained. “We try to match the cheapest that’s going on in town also. So like if another gas station goes to like $1.40, then we would go to $1.40.”