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Gas taxes by state

16. Rhode Island

RHODE ISLAND road sign against clear blue sky
Aleksandar Mijatovic / Shutterstock
Rhode Island roads need help, but the state is hoping for an increase in the federal gas tax.

Average tax: 52.40 cents per gallon

State officials have been holding Rhode Island's relatively high gas tax steady.

Nearly 80% of the state’s transportation budget comes from federal funding, and it appears officials are waiting for the federal gas tax to go up to provide more money to repair the more than 40% of Rhode Island roads that are said to be in poor condition.

Meantime, the state's motorists can expect to spend an average of $662 a year on vehicle repairs and operating costs due to the deteriorating roads, reports The Brown Daily Herald. Yikes!

15. Georgia

Skyline of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
ESB Professional / Shutterstock
Drivers in Atlanta and throughout Georgia have been paying a higher gas tax since 2015.

Average tax: 53.68 cents per gallon

Georgians pay just slightly more than the U.S. average for fuel taxes, which is 52.64 cents a gallon. Georgia's gas tax has been higher since the summer of 2015, when a 6.7-cent increase took effect — the first hike in the state's gasoline tax since 1971.

A poll released by the Georgia Transportation Alliance found most Georgians supported raising the tax to pay for transportation projects.

The law also allows for future increases to compensate for improvements in the fuel economy of cars, so the state won't lose any money as cars become more fuel-efficient and drivers use less gas.

14. Maryland

WASHINGTON, USA JUNE, 22 2015 Maryland to Washington heavy car traffic Congested highway
Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock
The Capital Beltway in Maryland is congested around the clock.

Average tax: 53.70 cents per gallon

Maryland moved into the top 15 in July 2018, when its state gas tax was hiked by 1.5 cents a gallon.

The change was made under a five-year-old law that syncs up the state fuel tax with inflation.

Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed spending $9 billion to widen congested highways, including Maryland's portion of the Capital Beltway around Washington, D.C. Critics say the state can't afford it, even with the higher gas tax.

13. West Virginia

Rafters float towards the rapids under the high arched New River Gorge bridge in West Virginia
Steve Heap / Shutterstock
West Virginia has held down its gas tax while raising other costs for motorists.,

Average tax: 54.10 cents per gallon

West Virginians saw an average gas tax increase of a relatively tame 3.5 cents a gallon in 2017 — but other driving-related taxes and fees went up at the same time.

Notable changes included the vehicle registration fee increasing by $21.50, to $51.50, and the state's sales tax when you buy a car rising from 5% to 6%.

Taken together, these hikes were expected to bring in $130 million a year for the State Road Fund, says WV Metro News.

12. North Carolina

highway next t o the ocean in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
makasana photo / Shutterstock
North Carolina has tried to control its state gas tax, which used to be all over the map.

Average tax: 54.85 cents per gallon

Prior to a 2015 law, North Carolina's higher-than-average gasoline tax was determined by a formula that moved the rate up or down every six months in step with wholesale fuel prices.

The law cut the gas tax and imposed a new calculation based on North Carolina's population growth and, to a lesser degree, on national increases in energy prices.

The tax is now ticking upward as the state's population continues to rise. Want to fight that pain at the pump? Find yourself a good cash-back credit card and essentially save money every time you fill up.

11. Oregon

Hell's Canyon Scenic Byway. One car in the distance that's leaving Baker City, Oregon heading into the beautiful Wallowa Mountains on cold November day on State Route 86.
Dan Lewis / Shutterstock
Oregon has beautiful highways and rising gas taxes.

Average tax: 55.17 cents per gallon

Oregon's state gas tax went up 4 cents at the start of 2018, and gasoline was already costly in the state.

"The most expensive markets are the regions that pay more for crude (West Coast and some Rocky Mountain areas, as well as the Northeast)," Tom Kloza, head of global energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, said in an email.

The gas tax increase was part of a hefty $5.3 billion package of taxes and fees passed last July to fund road, bridge and transit projects.

10. Connecticut

New Canaan, CT, USA - March 10, 2017: Traffic on the Merritt interstate highway on March 10, 2017, in New Canaan Connecticut
barbsimages / Shutterstock
The scenic Merritt Parkway and other Connecticut highways have been lacking in maintenance money.

Average tax: 55.25 cents per gallon

Gas taxes in Connecticut are higher than average, but they don't come close to covering the cost of local road repairs.

In January 2018, the governor announced that 400 projects would be delayed indefinitely because the state's transportation fund did not have enough money to pay for them.

But the state's lawmakers have been considering whether to lower the state's gasoline tax and instead slap new tolls on drivers using Connecticut's highways.

9. New Jersey

PATERSON, NEW JERSEY- MARCH 6 - A view of Paterson NJ and the gas prices at this Shell station on March 6 2017 in New Jersey.
Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock

Average tax: 59.80 cents per gallon

In New Jersey — the only state where it's a crime to pump your own gas — motorists also have had to deal with rapidly rising gasoline taxes.

The state's fuel tax jumped by 4.3 cents per gallon on Oct. 1, just two years after the tax was hiked by a steep 23 cents to help pay for work on roads, bridges and other transportation projects.

Before 2016, drivers in the Garden State enjoyed some of the nation's lowest fuel taxes.

8. Florida

Aerial view of Bridge connecting Keys, Florida.
pisaphotography / Shutterstock
Florida has good roads, but counties want to raise gas taxes to keep the costs covered.

Average tax: 60.39 cents per gallon

Florida doesn't have a state income tax — but the money to operate the state's programs obviously has to come from somewhere. The Sunshine State has one of the nation's highest gasoline taxes.

Ongoing road work has had some Florida counties considering whether to raise local gas taxes even higher, though no increases have been enacted.

But thanks to all of the repair projects, the national transportation research group TRIP has rated Florida the state with the smallest percentage of bad roads in the country: only 7%.

7. Michigan

Mackinac Bridge under moonlight taken from Straits State Park.
John McCormick / Shutterstock
Michigan has been struggling to maintain the Mackinac Bridge and other transportation infrastructure.

Average tax: 61.26 cents per gallon

Michigan has been raising its state gas tax to deal with deplorable road conditions caused by new potholes opening up every spring.

Yet despite its already-high fuel tax, the state is dead last in the country for per-capita investment in roads, says The Detroit News.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is proposing to nearly triple the state's portion of the gas taxes motorists pay over three years, to generate more than $2 billion a year to fix the state's rotting roads.

6. Indiana

A welcome sign at the Indiana state line
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock
The costs of getting around have been going up in the Hoosier State.

Average tax: 61.30 cents per gallon

Indiana's gas tax rose in July 2018 by a penny a gallon, under an inflation-based formula. It was the second increase in two years.

The formula was part of a law that raised the state's fuel tax by 10 cents in 2017 as part of a 20-year road-funding plan. Hoosiers also started paying a new $15 licensing fee, a $150 fee for electric vehicles and a $50 fee for hybrids.

The revenue is aimed at helping the state finish building Interstate 69 and handle congestion around Indiana's major urban centers.

5. New York

View of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline - New York City downtown, photographed from Manhattan Bridge
oneinchpunch / Shutterstock
New York is considering a "congestion toll" in parts of Manhattan, because gas taxes don't go far enough.

Average tax: 63.75 cents per gallon

About 60% of New York’s major roads and 6,000 bridges need fixing via a trust fund that draws its money from the state's fuel tax, reports Albany's WNYT news.

But the taxes don’t even begin to address ongoing problems with worn-out and clogged roads in the state. So, a new state budget includes a plan to charge "congestion tolls" for cars entering parts of Manhattan.

All things considered, it doesn’t look like the price of driving in New York will be going down anytime soon.

4. Hawaii

A highway sign points in the direction of Waikiki beach, Oahu, Hawaii.
cleanfotos / Shutterstock
In Hawaii, you say aloha -- meaning goodbye -- to a lot of money when you fill your gas tank.

Average tax: 65.16 cents per gallon

Hawaii’s island roads rank 48th in the nation for performance and maintenance, according to a 2016 analysis by the Reason Foundation.

But fixing them is complex and expensive, and Hawaiians already contend with the highest cost of living in the country.

In 2017, Hawaii’s Big Island put into motion its first fuel tax hike in 30 years, a 23-cent hike to be spread out over three years. Bills proposed in the state legislature call for more increases, to put more money into the state's highway fund.

3. Washington

Seattle skylines and Interstate freeways converge with Elliott Bay and the waterfront background of  in sunset time, Seattle, Washington State, USA.
Checubus / Shutterstock
Washington state has been hiking its gas tax to address poor roads.

Average tax: 67.80 cents per gallon

In 2015, research group TRIP noted that 39% of Washington roads were in bad shape. The state lacked funds to fix them, so lawmakers raised the gas tax by 11.9 cents.

The tax increase was intended to fund Connecting Washington Communities, a 16-year program that's supposed to make everyone’s life better.

Major investments include $9.4 billion for state highways and local roads, $1.4 billion for maintenance — and even $300 million to remove barriers so salmon and other fish will have an easier time getting around.

2. California

Aerial view of a massive highway intersection in Los Angeles
TierneyMJ / Shutterstock
Los Angeles' notorious freeways are as challenging for motorists as California's fuel taxes.

Average tax: 73.58 cents per gallon

California pays the highest gasoline prices in America, and rising fuel taxes are one reason.

A 2017 law raised the state's gas tax by a steep 12 cents a gallon to fix or replace dozens of bridges and fund other desperately needed road work. Last year, the state's voters rejected a measure that would have reversed the increase.

California's gas tax will be raised yet again, by another 7.5 cents a gallon, in July. Ouch.

1. Pennsylvania

Fort Pitt Bridge spans Monongahela river in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
mandritoiu / Shutterstock
Gas taxes have been rising in Pennsyvania because roads and bridges in Pittsburgh and elsewhere have been falling apart.

Average tax: 77.10 cents per gallon

Motorists in Pennsylvania pay the highest gas taxes in the country, says the American Petroleum Institute — and it will only get worse. The state has been enacting regular tax hikes via a 2013 law aimed at boosting work on crumbling bridges and roads by $1 billion a year.

Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike also have been going up yearly and contribute to the astronomical cost of driving in the Keystone State.

Now that you've seen which states are worst for gas taxes, are you curious which are easiest on drivers' wallets? Keep reading as we count down the 20 states with the lowest total gasoline taxes.

20. Massachusetts

Skyline Boston Highway view
Dorti / Shutterstock
Massachusetts gas taxes are relatively low, but officials have been trying to change that.

Average tax: 44.94 cents per gallon

Massachusetts officials have been trying since 2012 to raise the state's portion of the gas taxes motorists pay, but voters won’t have it.

As a result, the state has a fairly low fuel tax, leaving legislators to look for new ways to fund desperately needed infrastructure maintenance and expansion.

One proposal would impose a "vehicle miles traveled" tax on motorists, to fix crumbling roads and bridges, but so far the support just isn’t there.

19. Tennessee

Sparks Lane in Cades Cove near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
ESB Professional / Shutterstock
Taking a drive into the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee is still pretty cheap, thanks to low fuel prices and taxes.

Average tax: 44.80 cents per gallon

Gas taxes are rising in Tennessee. They went up by a penny on July 1 and are scheduled to increase again by the same amount on July 1, 2019.

The state's mediocre infrastructure grade of C from the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE, and $10 billion backlog in road projects prompted officials to put into action a 4-cent gas tax hike in 2017.

This plan is aimed at bringing in $250 million in state transportation funds, $70 million for counties and $35 million for cities, reports the Tennessean.

18. Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky night scape long exposure
David Addison Porter / Shutterstock
Kentucky's state gas tax could be going up by 10 cents a gallon soon.

Average tax: 44.40 cents per gallon

Kentucky gas taxes might be fairly low, but things are unlikely to stay that way, reports WDRB-TV in Louisville.

Lawmakers have been warning that the state’s road management fund is running out of money. Within two years, it won’t be able to address Kentucky's $1 billion worth of outstanding road and bridge repairs.

According to officials, there’s only one way to fix this: A bipartisan bill in the state legislature recommends raising the state gas tax by a stiff 10 cents a gallon. Residents aren’t happy, but time is running out.

17. Kansas

Welcome to Kansas Sign
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock
Officials in Kansas have been punting on raising the state's gas tax.

Average tax: 42.43 cents per gallon

The Kansas state fuel tax hasn't budged in 15 years, which is a reason the Sunflower State tends to have some of the lowest gas prices in the U.S.

But given local politicians’ history of siphoning off highway construction money for other projects, and with the state transportation budget heading for a $1 billion shortfall by 2019, more funding has to come from somewhere.

So far officials can’t get a gas tax hike through the state Senate, says The Topeka Capital-Journal, but residents are likely looking at a 5-cent increase sooner or later.

16. Wyoming

American bison (Bison bison) on a road seen from car driver seat with view in wing mirror, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA.
Maciej Bledowski / Shutterstock
Wyoming -- where the Buffalo roam -- has a gas tax that has remained steady for five years.

Average tax: 42.40 cents per gallon

Wyoming has been a trendsetter when it comes to raising gas taxes.

When it hiked its fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon in 2013, Wyoming was the first state to enact an increase in more than three and a half years, according to the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The state's gas tax hasn't been raised since that time — and there's no new increase on the horizon.

15. New Hampshire

Beautiful fall foliage along the famous Kancamagus Highway at White Mountain, New Hampshire, USA
Jay Yuan / Shutterstock
New Hampshire welcomes autumn leaf-peepers with low fuel costs.

Average tax: 42.23 cents per gallon

Residents of the Granite State have been paying a relatively low state tax on fuel since the last 4.2-cents-a-gallon increase in 2014.

The proceeds are being used to make payments on a $200 million federal loan that will cover a range of road and bridge projects over the next 16 years.

The work is badly needed: ASCE has given New Hampshire's infrastructure a grade of C-minus while noting that 9% of the state's roads were in poor condition and 12.2% of bridges were structurally deficient.

14. North Dakota

A snowstorm passes thru fargo, North dakota in winter.
FiledIMAGE / Shutterstock
Gasoline is cheap in Fargo and the rest of North Dakota? You betcha!

Average tax: 41.40 cents per gallon

North Dakota's fuel tax is below the national average, and motorists want it to stay that way.

But since 2017, policymakers have been discussing whether to raise the gas tax, just like their counterparts in so many other states, says The Bismarck Tribune.

The idea keeps meeting resistance, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the state's major industries — energy, agriculture and manufacturing — all depend on having safe, well-kept roads to do business.

13. Colorado

photo-denver / Shutterstock
Motorists in Denver enjoy Colorado's stable state gas tax.

Average tax: 40.40 cents per gallon

Colorado's share of the gas taxes drivers pay has been 22 cents per gallon since the early 1990s.

But the state Department of Transportation says it needs another $1 billion a year to fund local road-building projects.

KUSA-TV calculates that to provide the money, Colorado would have to raise its gas tax by 156% to 56.9 cents per gallon — which would make it the highest state fuel tax in the nation.

12. Arkansas

Little Rock, AR/USA - circa February 2016: Downtown of Little Rock, Arkansas
amadeustx / Shutterstock
People in Little Rock and elsewhere in Arkansas pay low gas taxes, but have terrible roads as a result.

Average tax: 40.20 cents per gallon

Although Arkansans pay less in fuel tax than most, years of low transportation funding are having an impact.

The American Society of Civil Engineers' most recent report gave Arkansas infrastructure a grade of D-plus, because the group said 24% of public roads are in poor condition.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proposed a gas tax hike to cover funding holes, but so far there’s been little interest in moving forward with that.

11. Alabama

MOBILE, ALABAMA—AUGUST 2015:  Bridges and overpass near the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.
RaksyBH / Shutterstock
Motorists in Mobile haven't seen a gas tax increase in more than 25 years.

Average tax: 39.61 cents per gallon

Alabama has a significantly lower gas tax than other states, which contributes to gas prices that are typically among the cheapest in the U.S.

Since 1992, Alabama residents have enjoyed a long break from gas tax hikes.

But Alabama Today says this may soon change, because legislation is in place for counties to ask voters to raise gas taxes by up to 5 cents to fund local road projects starting in 2019.

10. South Carolina

South of the Border tourist attraction on Interstate 95 in South Carolina just over the state line from North Carolina
mwms1916 / Flickr
Drivers on Interstate 95 can get cheap fill-ups at the South of the Border tourist attraction, thanks to South Carolina's very low gas tax.

Average tax: 39.15 cents per gallon

South Carolina also has tended to have some of the lowest gas prices in the country, thanks to its relatively low state gas tax. But there are infrastructure issues for miles, so the tax is on the way up.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 10.3% of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, and 178 dams are "highly hazardous."

The state gas tax is set to keep climbing by 2 cents a year until 2022. The latest increase came on July 1.

9. Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, USA at historic Main Street Station and Interstate 95.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock
Virginia is for lovers -- of low gas taxes.

Average tax: 39.06 cents per gallon

Back in 2013, Virginia decided to switch from a steady per-gallon gas tax to a more complicated percentage tax based on the statewide average wholesale price for a gallon of gasoline.

As gas prices rise, the state’s tax follows.

But despite this set-up, Virginians can continue to expect to pay some of the nation's lowest taxes at the pump. If you live in a state with a low gas tax and you don't have an emergency fund, why not? It's a smart way to bank some of your savings.

8. Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - JULY 17: green bridge on July 17, 2013 in New Orleans, USA.
travelview / Shutterstock
The Big Easy does not describe what it's like to get around in Louisiana. Roads are in rough shape due.

Average tax: 38.41 cents per gallon

Louisiana drivers may be happy to pay less at the pump, but the state's low gas tax has come at a cost.

The backlog of road repairs is now so bad that a 15-mile drive from the outer edge of Baton Rouge to the center of town can take an hour and a half.

A state House bill that sought to raise the state gas tax by 17 cents to collect $510 million a year to fix roads and bridges died in early 2018. As of now, legislative bickering means there's no solution in sight.

6. (tie) Oklahoma

The famous Route 66 Gate in Tulsa Oklahoma
4kclips / Shutterstock
Oklahoma's low gas taxes are headed higher.

Average tax: 38.40 cents per gallon

Oklahoma had the second-lowest gas taxes in the nation before July 1 — but then, the state's fuel tax went up by a hefty 3 cents a gallon.

That was the state's teachers went on strike over their low pay and lack of raises. Also, the ASCE found that 26% of local roads were in poor condition.

Oklahoma agreed earlier this year to not only raise the gas tax, but also hike the tax on diesel by 6 cents, and slap a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes.

6. (tie) Texas

Dallas downtown skyline in the evening, Texas
kan_khampanya / Shutterstock
Highways in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas could use some fixing.

Average tax: 38.40 cents per gallon

Texans haven’t seen a gas tax hike since the 1990s, and they’d like to keep it that way.

But the state's gas tax doesn’t just fund road repairs: 18 cents goes to the federal government; 5 cents goes to schools; and 15 cents goes to a highway fund that must cover road repairs and expansion, as well as state employee raises and benefits.

The reality is that Texas' eroding roads are getting very little investment, while the cost of construction continues to climb.

5. Arizona

ARIZONA, USA - DECEMBER 26, 2016: Scenery of winding asphalt road with no cars between mountains. Arizona desert landscape with red rock mountains and Saguaro cacti.
Alex Lerner / Shutterstock
Raising the gas tax is as prickly an issue in Arizona as the iconic saguaro cactus.

Average tax: 37.40 cents per gallon

Unlike other states looking at imminent tax hikes, Arizona’s gas tax might stay low a bit longer.

ASCE gave Arizona roads and bridges a grade of C in 2015, while praising a decade of progressive road projects that brought in more residents, businesses and money.

But with the state’s exploding population expected to add another 3.3 million people by 2035, highways and transit will need more investment — and soon.

4. New Mexico

winding road
Herbert Heinsche / Shutterstock
A proposal to raise New Mexico's gas tax turns people redder than Red Rock Park.

Average tax: 37.28 cents per gallon

Although New Mexico gas taxes are the fifth lowest in the country, the state has an ongoing budget crisis, and there's only one good solution, says NM Political Report: a desperately needed 10-cents-per-gallon tax hike.

But with the state still dealing with the highest unemployment rates in the country since the 2008 recession, this is an unpopular option.

New Mexico drivers can breathe easy this year — legislators decided to put off any tax changes due to the upcoming election in November.

3. Mississippi

View from below Biloxi Bay Bridge as it crosses Biloxi Bay from Ocean Springs, MS to Biloxi, MS.
Simply Photos / Shutterstock
Mississippi's low state gas tax may be raised soon.

Average tax: 37.19 cents per gallon

While other states' portion of gas taxes can be as high as around 60 cents a gallon, Mississippi's is just 18.4 cents — matching the federal share.

But Mississippi Today says this might be too good to last: Officials are suggesting raising the state fuel tax by 3 cents every year for the next four years and dropping a $300 yearly fee on electric car drivers and $150 a year on hybrid owners.

Gotta pay for those highways somehow!

2. Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri, USA - Nov. 28, 2017 - A view of St. Louis, Missouri and the Gateway Arch from Eads Bridge.
STLJB / Shutterstock
Voters in Missouri will decide whether to raise the state's gas tax.

Average tax: 35.75 cents per gallon

Missourians had a chance to raise the state's low gasoline tax, but they said no.

Motorists in the Show Me State pay only 17 cents of state tax per gallon. In November 2018, voters rejected a phased-in tax hike that had the support of Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

The ballot proposal would have increased the tax to 27 cents by 2022, to raise $293 million for roads, bridges and the State Highway Patrol. Parson said the money was badly needed.

1. Alaska

Alaska Highway
mos_rittiron / Shutterstock
Alaska has given a cold shoulder to gas tax hikes.

Average tax: 32.74 cents per gallon

Alaskans pay America's lowest fuel taxes — nearly 20 cents below the national average and almost 45 cents per gallon less than motorists pay in the most expensive state, Pennsylvania.

Alaska’s state fuel tax has been just 8 cents per gallon since 1961, says Anchorage Daily News.

But don't imagine for a moment that the state's gas pumps are pain-free. In fact, Alaska's fuel prices tend to be among the highest in the U.S. because of the stiff cost of transporting refined gasoline to the remote state.


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Esther Trattner Freelance Contributor

Esther was formerly a freelance contributor to Moneywise.


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