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Gas Tax Short Takes

1 min readBy: Jonathan Williams

This Week in Petroleum from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported the current average retail price for regular gasoline is now $2.18. This represents a 3.8 cent per gallon jump from last week and the first increase in the national average of gasoline prices in 10 weeks. This week’s average price represents a 33.8 cent per gallon increase from the same period last year. With prices well below post-Katrina highs, but significantly above levels from last year, several states are now actively considering changes in their gas taxes.

WisconsinAs we reported recently, lawmakers in Wisconsin have been debating eliminating their automatic annual gas taxA gas tax is commonly used to describe the variety of taxes levied on gasoline at both the federal and state levels, to provide funds for highway repair and maintenance, as well as for other government infrastructure projects. These taxes are levied in a few ways, including per-gallon excise taxes, excise taxes imposed on wholesalers, and general sales taxes that apply to the purchase of gasoline. increase. According to WISC TV in Madison:

Wisconsin’s automatic gas taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. increase took another step closer to being history on Wednesday morning. The state Assembly passed a bill that would do away with the tax designed to increase annually to match inflationInflation is when the general price of goods and services increases across the economy, reducing the purchasing power of a currency and the value of certain assets. The same paycheck covers less goods, services, and bills. It is sometimes referred to as a “hidden tax,” as it leaves taxpayers less well-off due to higher costs and “bracket creep,” while increasing the government’s spending power. . For the past 20 years, the tax — among the nation’s highest — has increased April 1 of each year. [Full Story]

We estimate that drivers in Wisconsin pays an average of 51.3 cents per gallon of gasoline purchased – one of the highest gas taxes in the nation.

New JerseyGovernor-elect Jon Corzine recently indicated that he is now considering the option of raising the gas tax in New Jersey. According to the Newark Star-Ledger:

After vowing during his campaign that he would not raise the gas tax, Gov.-elect Jon Corzine said yesterday he will reconsider the idea now that gasoline prices have eased and the state’s budget gap has ballooned to more than $5 billion. [Full Story]

Motorists in New Jersey pay an average of 32.9 cents per gallon in combined federal, state and local gas taxes. To read additional Tax Foundation research on gasoline taxes, click here.