In a not-so-surprising turn of events, gas prices seem to be increasing across the country. Increased gas prices have placed more pressure on families, who are already struggling to make ends meet. Furthermore, the current situation also highlights the important matter of high taxes on fuel in many states across the country.
Some states have been driving the gas tax up in order to find adequate funds to address the issue of damaged bridges and roads. This has been the case for a while now, but for the most part, the federal tax has been standing at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993. All things considered, it seems like the tax might increase by 25 cents in the future.
Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute data reveals some states have been charging motorists extremely high gas taxes in 2019 – federal, state and local taxes. We are going to take a look at the most expensive rates from the lot.
States with the Highest Gas Taxes
Here are the states with the highest gas taxes – from highest to lowest:
Topping the list of states with the highest gas taxes is Pennsylvania at 77.10 cents per gallon, according to the numbers by the American Institute of Petroleum. It also looks like things might get worse for Pennsylvanians.
The state of Pennsylvania has been increasing gas taxes based on a law passed in 2013, which aimed at revamping the work that had to be done on crumbling bridges and roads to get a boost of $1 billion per year.
In light of this move, tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have been increasing further on an annual basis, which makes it very costly to drive a vehicle in the state.
California comes in second on the list of states with the highest gas tax at 72.76 cents per gallon. Rising fuel prices and increased taxation are the primary reasons for this.
A law that was passed in 2017 allowed the state of California to increase the gas tax by a steep 12 cents, because it seemed like the most viable way to obtain the funds needed to replace several bridges and fund other important road projects.
You can expect the state’s gas tax to increase further by 7.5 cents per gallon in a few months.
As bad as things are in California and Pennsylvania, motorists in Washington state are not much better off either with the state’s gas tax at 67.80 cents per gallon. In 2015, a research group called TRIP noted that 39 percent of the roads in the state of Washington needed work. The state did not have the appropriate funds to make the project happen and that resulted in an 11.9 cent per gallon increase in gas tax.
The state increased its gas tax to fund Connecting Washington Communities. It created the program to make everybody’s lives better. Major investments include $9.4 billion for local roads and state highways, $1.4 billion for maintenance work and more. Also, $300 million has been allocated to remove barriers so that salmon and other fish can get around easier.
At an average of 64.78 cents per gallon, Hawaii has a lot to contend with already and the high gas tax makes things even more difficult. The roads in Hawaii are 48th in the country when it comes to maintenance and performance, according to a 2016 study released by the Reason Foundation.
Fixing roads in Hawaii is not easy and it is pretty expensive. Hawaii set into motion the first gas tax hike by 23 cents per gallon in 2017, which will take place over the course of three years. There are calls from lawmakers for further increases.
5. New York
At 62.50 cents per gallon, the average gas tax in New York is among the highest in the country. Around 60 percent of all the major roads in the state need fixing along with 6,000 bridges. The funds for all of this work is drawn from New York’s fuel taxes.
And it is not just the state’s gas tax that makes driving more expensive in the state. New York is planning to start charging motorists congestion tolls for entering certain parts of Manhattan. Things are not going to get easier for New Yorkers.
The state of Indiana witnessed its gas tax rise last summer. In fact, it has gone up to 61.30 cents per gallon as part of the inflation-based formula applied by the state. This was the second increase in 24 months.
The formula applied was part of a new law, which raised the state’s fuel taxes by 10 cents in 2017. It was set into place as part of a two-decade plan for funding the state’s roads.
The Sunshine State was never going to shy away from making it to the spotlight in the states with the highest gas tax. It is the last state on this list. Gasoline taxes at 60.93 cents per gallon on an average seem fairly reasonable, considering the fact that Florida does not have a state income tax.
Without a state income tax, there had to be a way to procure funds to make all the state programs work but gas tax was pretty much the only viable option. Florida counties are considering whether to increase the state’s gas tax even further, but so far no more increases have been actually proposed.