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Gas Gouging in Danville

DANVILLE --  According to gasbuddy.com the average price of gasoline was $3.66 in Downtown Danville.

Drivers saw prices as high as $3.79.

But in Champaign, the average price was $3.53, causing drivers to wonder if they're being ripped off.

Will Kiger of Tilton says, "Gas prices are always higher here than anywhere else."

Drivers in Danville are curious.

Why is it the price to fuel up can be so drastically different from surrounding areas?

Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster says, "I was out in Oakwood at the exit, and usually gasoline is higher at the exits.  And, I saw the prices were like three thirty-five and I got back to Danville and they were like three seventy-nine downtown and three fifty-nine was the cheapest I saw as I came up North Vermilion."

Government officials are, once again, hearing complaints about high gas prices.

But the cause is difficult to pin point.

Kiger says, "They always want ten to twenty cents more in Danville for gas which doesn't make any sense."

Foster says, "Once again, an enormous difference in just one exit you might say."

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer says yes at times prices seem to be much higher than surrounding communities, but just as often prices are the same or less, adding there is no evidence of price gouging.

City officials site turbulence in the middle east and domestic policy as contributors but add local government contributes to the high prices.

Ward 7 Alderman Bill Black says, "Danville, according to the Legislators Tax Handbook, has the highest city gasoline tax in the state of Illinois, so some of the complaints go right back to government."

That city tax is 6.3 cents a gallon and drivers say they need every cent to get by.

Kiger says, "To make it, everybody wants to go where you get the deal and when you go to gas up, it makes a big difference.  That ten or twenty dollars that you save will put food on the table or even go towards prescriptions or anything like that."

Officials say it is very difficult to prove price gouging.

Prices must be consistently high for one to two months.

Mayor Eisenhauer says the city tracks prices and submits the data to the attorney general.

ABC NewsChannel 15's Heather Good Reports