Paying More at the Pump: 10 States With the Highest Gas Taxes

Gas Station
Gas station | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drivers in some states have been feeling more pain at the pump recently, and rising gas taxes are to blame. Nineteen states have raised their gas taxes in the past three years as they look to boost funding for stretched transportation budgets, according to a report from NPR.

Higher taxes on a gallon of gasoline are costing motorists hundreds of dollars a year in some cases. Drivers who fill up in New Jersey will pay an extra $184 to $276 every year because of a $0.23 gas tax hike that took effect in 2016. In Pennsylvania, which already had the highest gas tax in the country, an $.08 increase that took effect on January 1, 2017, means drivers are paying an additional $1.20 every time they fill up a 15-gallon tank.

Nationwide, the average gas tax in the U.S. is just over $0.49 per gallon, according to the American Petroleum Institute. But in 19 states, drivers typically pay $0.50 or more per gallon in tax. Taxes tend to be higher in mid-Atlantic and Western states and are lowest in the South.

In some cases, the difference in gas taxes is enough to encourage people who live near the border of one state fill up in another. In Ohio, gas taxes are a little over $0.46 per gallon. In neighboring Pennsylvania the per-gallon surcharge is nearly $0.77. A quick look at GasBuddy shows what a difference the tax makes at the pump, with some Ohio stations near the Pennsylvania state line charging $0.30 to $0.40 less per gallon than those in the Keystone State.

When combined with the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, these 10 states had the highest gas taxes in the country as of January 1, 2017, according to the API.

10. North Carolina

gas station
Gas station in Charlotte, North Carolina | Davis Turner/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 52.95 cents per gallon

North Carolina gas taxes increased 0.3 cents per gallon on January 1, 2017. The total state gas tax is 34.55 cents per gallon plus the 18.4-cent federal excise tax.

9. Florida

gas prices
A U-Gas station on October 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 55.2 cents per gallon

Florida drivers had to swallow a modest gas tax increase of 22 cents per gallon on January 1, 2017. In addition to a 4-cent per gallon state excise tax, drivers pay another 32.8 cents in additional taxes and fees, depending on where they fill up in the state.

8. New Jersey

gas station
A service station attendant pumps gasoline in Teaneck, New Jersey | Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 55.5 cents per gallon

Until October 2016, New Jersey had the second-lowest gas tax in the U.S. That all changed on November 1, when a new law increased the gas tax by 23 cents per gallon.

7. California

california gas station
A gas station in San Francisco, California | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 56.53 cents per gallon

California drivers pay 27.8 cents in state excise tax per gallon and 10.33 in other taxes and fees, including a 2-cent per gallon underground storage tank fee.

6. Connecticut

gas station
A man delivers gasoline to a filling station in Milford, Connecticut | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 58.25 cents per gallon

In Connecticut, drivers pay 58.25 cents per gallon in gas taxes, including 25 cents in state excise taxes and 14.85 cents in other taxes and fees. Gas taxes rose 1.55 cents per gallon on January 1, 2017.

5. Michigan

pumping gas
A man filling up his truck in Livonia, Michigan | Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 58.84 cents per gallon

Michigan’s gas tax rose 7.3 cents on January 1, 2017. In addition to 26.3 cents per gallon in state excise taxes, drivers also pay 14.14 cents in other taxes and fees, including a 6% state sales tax and a 0.875-cent environmental regulation fee.

4. New York

pumping gas
A customer fills up his car at a BP gas station in Brooklyn | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 62.28 cents per gallon

New York drivers pay an 8.05-cent state excise tax per gallon plus 35.83 cents in other taxes and fees. Gas taxes actually dropped by about 0.60 cents per gallon on January 1, 2017, due to an annual adjustment tied to the price of gas.

3. Hawaii

gas station
Drivers at a gas station in Honolulu, Hawaii | Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 62.79 cents per gallon

In Hawaii, there is a 17-cent state excise tax on gas, plus 27.39 cents in other taxes and fees.

2. Washington

gas pump
Gas prices | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 67.8 cents per gallon

The state excise tax on gas in Washington is 49.4 cents per gallon. The state’s gas tax increased 4.9 cents on July 1, 2016, which pushed it up to the No. 2 spot in state rankings.

1. Pennsylvania

gas station
Drives at a gas station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Total gas tax: 76.6 cents per gallon

Pennsylvania gas taxes rose 6.8 cents per gallon on January 1, 2017, increasing the total state tax to 58.2 cents per gallon. Combined with the 18.4 cent federal excise tax, that made Pennsylvania’s gas tax higher than any other state in the country.

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