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NAPLES, Italy — Diesel coupon prices across Italy will plunge nearly 70 cents a gallon on Monday, while unleaded gas prices drop 38 cents a gallon, a Navy official said.

It’s the first price drop in seven months.

The September dip in prices is tied to a roughly 10 percent decrease in the price of crude oil, the strengthening dollar and a temporary dip in the Tax-Free Office’s surcharge on the coupons, said Bart Di Muccio, the office’s program administrator.

The Tax-Free Office — which sets the monthly coupon prices — is considering revamping the 15-percent surcharge that customers pay to cover the costs of running the coupon program, Di Muccio said.

The cost for diesel drops 68 cents a gallon, with a 100-liter booklet dipping from $155 to $137. The cost for unleaded fuel decreases by 38 cents, with a 100-liter booklet selling for $121, down from $131.

The September coupon prices translate to $5.18 a gallon for diesel, and $4.57 a gallon for unleaded.

Each year, the Tax-Free Office reviews the surcharge, currently assessed at 15 percent of the sale of the coupon booklet. With ever-fluctuating changes in oil prices, the surcharge can net the program more money than what it costs to run it, Di Muccio said.

For example, if a 100-liter booklet sells for $100, the program gains $15 through the surcharge. At a price of $150, the charge would be $22.50, even though the cost of doing business hasn’t changed, Di Muccio said.

He said he is considering changing the surcharge from a percentage to a flat rate independent of the sale price of coupon booklets, similar to what the Army and Air Force Exchange Service does with its fuel prices in the rest of Europe.

Di Muccio said he hopes to make a decision by October to coincide with the rollout of new gas coupons.

"The program is not for profit. There is no speculation in the program," Di Muccio said.

Fuel prices at AAFES pumps in the rest of Europe will drop between a penny and 11.7 cents a gallon starting Saturday. Regular unleaded — sold only in Germany — will drop 5.5 cents a gallon to $3.894. The biggest drop will occur in the Netherlands, where the price of diesel will fall 11.7 cents a gallon to $4.704.


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