By Aaron Humes: Border issues aside, does it pay less to go to Guatemala for gas?
Our colleagues at the Amandala have surveyed the difference in gas prices between Belize and our neighbors Mexico and Guatemala, finding that their prices, tied to world market controls, are significantly lower than Belize’s Government-controlled prices.
As of last Saturday, regular gasoline is priced in Belize City at 9 dollars 71 cents and in Benque Viejo at 9 dollars 82 cents, rising by 33 cents. But in Melchor, customers are paying just over 26 quetzales or 7 dollars 30 cents for regular gasoline.
Diesel is about 9 dollars per gallon here, but less than 6 Belize dollars across the border; premium gasoline is 10 dollars 41 cents here, but just about 8 dollars over the border. Prices in oil-rich Mexico, particularly in Chetumal, and the Free Zone are just as cheap.
The Amandala considers that not only local business are having it tough competing with their rivals across the border; Belizeans may be seeking out cheaper fuel sources to save on costs.
According to the Ministry of Finance, almost 4 of every 10 dollars paid at the pumps goes to taxes for the Government, a rise of 10 percent from last July. The Government blames revenue shortfalls, particularly and ironically coming from ever-reducing earnings from locally produced crude oil.
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