NAPLES, Italy — The price for discounted fuel in Italy will top $3 a gallon on Friday, but motorists here still will be paying less for gas than those in the States.

The cost for a 100-liter coupon book for unleaded gasoline increases Friday to $82, up from $78 for the month of May, said Bart Di Muccio, manager of the Tax-Free Office in Naples.

The price translates to $3.10 a gallon, up from the $2.96-a-gallon paid in May.

The price for diesel is unchanged at $81 for a 100-liter booklet, Di Muccio said.

The price remains lower than the national average of $3.22, according to the latest U.S. Department of Energy figures.

“Even though the crude oil price has gone up, we also take into account the euro-to-dollar [exchange] rate,” which was favorable for the last purchase of fuel, he said. “We are dealing with bare costs. There is no money being made here,” he said of the coupon program.

The Tax-Free Office sets the fuel coupon prices for all of Italy, with customers buying booklets from Navy Exchange or Army and Air Force Exchange Service outlets. The coupons are redeemable at any Agip or Esso gas station in Italy.

The cost has been higher, with members paying a record high of 88 cents a liter ($3.34 a gallon) in September. But beginning in December, the price dropped to 66 cents a liter ($2.51 a gallon) and stayed there until April.

Each month, the tax-free office sets prices for fuel coupon sales by calculating changes in the barrel price of fuel, fluctuations in the currency exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the euro, and any gains or losses the Navy Exchange and AAFES incurred the previous months’ sales, Di Muccio said.

In Italy, there are no fuel stations on the military bases. U.S. and NATO forces fuel up on the economy, using the prepaid coupons in exchange for the fuel.

The Italian government grants U.S. and NATO personnel roughly $70 million a year in tax exemptions, of which roughly $65 million is for fuel, Di Muccio said.

The rest are exemptions for tobacco and alcohol products.

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