There's little gain for gas station owners

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Raj Singh is serving a customer who stops for gas and a Coke at the Independence Conoco station he manages. The customer asks: What's it like selling some of the cheapest fuel in the country?

He pauses, briefly, before answering.

"Dude, let me show you something," Singh says, shoving a sheet of paper across the counter. Subtracting his wholesale gas costs and 36 cents in state and federal taxes from the pump price, his station makes about 2 cents a gallon.

But that's before any other costs are subtracted. Figure in credit card fees, for example, and the station is losing money on every gallon sold.

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