Hattiesburg is one of the four cities in Mississippi with the lowest gas prices in the state.
Gas can be found starting as low as $3.13/gallon, according to the Gas Price Watch website. The decline in gas prices has had an effect on many students on The University of Southern Mississippi campus. Gas prices change many times throughout the calendar year.
The two major factors that affect gas prices are taxes and supply and demand, according to Energy Answered. Gas taxes and sales taxes vary between states and cities.
If the taxes are higher, the prices are higher. According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, sales tax is 7 percent in Mississippi.
The same goes for supply and demand. If there are not enough consumers, then the price will go down. In the South, one can typically count on prices rising during hurricane season.
During vacation season, gas prices also take a turn toward the sky. Vacation season and hurricane season are two time periods where consumers desperately need gas; thus the prices rise, according to AAA Newsroom.
Right now, students are reaping the benefits of low gas prices.
Madeline Bordelon, a junior broadcast journalism major, is very excited about the gas prices. Since she is from New Orleans, the trip to and from the Big Easy can get pretty costly.
“On the way back up here this weekend, I got gas when I was about halfway empty just so I could fill up when I was in Pearl River,” Bordelon said. “But once I got here I saw the gas was so much cheaper and I was mad I filled up before I needed to.”
Mark Hoover, a junior exercise science major, agrees with Bordelon. Though gas prices are not something Hoover usually worries about, he is still reaping the benefits of the low prices.
“As a student this makes things easier and I can do more such as go to sporting events or take trips to New Orleans,” Hoover said. “I’ve never really stressed about gas prices but this is huge for our community.”
Gas prices are something our country has battled with for over two decades. They continue to fluctuate as the years continue.
Some states have raised their taxes on gas in order to construct better roads. Those states began that transformation this past summer. Some states are hesitant to raise those prices because of the reaction of consumers.
For now, Southern Miss students will continue to enjoy the luxury of having some of the lowest gas prices in the state and the southeast region. Hattiesburg is known as the Hub City, an area directly between some of the South’s most abundant cities.
Southern Miss hopes these prices are here to stay.