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Which States Pay the Most in Gas Taxes?

BOSTON — Americans pay $72 billion per year in local, state and federal gasoline taxes, according to a recent analysis by GasBuddy.

On this recent Tax Day alone—April 17—gasoline taxes amounted to $198 million, according to Boston-based GasBuddy. This includes the 18.4-cent-per-gallon (CPG) federal gasoline tax, which has not been raised since 1993, as well as various state, county and local taxes.

This year is expected to be especially active in terms of state gasoline tax changes, with more than a dozen states debating if and how to adjust their levy, according to the Institute on Taxation and Policy. They include states in almost every region of the United States, from Alaska, California and Oregon in the West to Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia and South Carolina in the Southeast. 

While combined gasoline taxes average out at 50 CPG on a national level, this amount varies greatly by state. The Mid-Atlantic states have the highest average gas taxes at 62.5 CPG, according to GasBuddy, while the South has the lowest average at 38.7 CPG.

The state with the highest combined local, state and federal fuel taxes is Pennsylvania, where motorists pay nearly 78 cents on every gallon of gasoline purchased (see chart below). In Alaska, the lowest, the combined gas tax is 31 CPG. This amount may increase, however, as the state debates Gov. Bill Walker’s plan to triple its fuel tax by July 2018.

State Combined tax (CPG) Yearly cost*
Pennsylvania 77.70 $466.20
Washington 67.80 $406.80
Hawaii 62.62 $375.72
New York 61.94 $371.64
Michigan 59.34 $356.04
Connecticut 58.55 $351.30
California 57.20 $343.20
New Jersey 55.50 $333.00
Florida 55.19 $331.14
North Carolina 52.95 $317.70
Rhode Island 52.40 $314.40
Illinois 52.15 $312.90
Nevada 51.92 $311.52
Maryland 51.90 $311.40
Idaho 51.40 $308.40
Wisconsin 51.30 $307.80
Indiana 51.24 $307.44
West Virginia 50.60 $303.60
Oregon 49.53 $297.18
National average 49.50 $297.00

*Average annual cost per vehicle

GasBuddy estimates that Americans will spend an average of $297 in gasoline taxes in 2017. Two-vehicle households could spend almost $600. Motorists in Pennsylvania, meanwhile, will spend more than $466 per vehicle this year.

Author(s): 
Samantha Oller

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