Cities with the Most Expensive Gas

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5. San Francisco, Calif.
> Current gas price: $3.92
> Month ago: $4.03
> Year ago: $4.22
> State gasoline taxes: 53.5 cents per gallon

Californians on average pay the highest gasoline taxes in the country. Much of the state’s crude oil comes from Alaska, and Alaska North Slope crude is priced at a premium of as much as $3.50 a barrel to WTI and $2 a barrel to Brent. More expensive crude and highest-in-the-nation taxes — combined with the the city’s extremely high cost of living — add up to San Francisco’s high gasoline prices.

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4. Anchorage, Alaska
> Current gas price: $3.94
> Month ago: $3.96
> Year ago: $3.81
> State gasoline taxes: 8.0 cents per gallon

Alaska’s gasoline tax is the lowest in the U.S. The state has six operating refineries but, as in San Francisco, the higher cost of crude is reflected in the price of gasoline. There are virtually no refined product pipelines in Alaska, so fuel moves mostly by tanker truck because rail transport is also limited. Anchorage sports one of the highest costs of living among all U.S. cities, largely the result of its isolation. Gas prices in the city range from $3.83 to a penny shy of $4.00.

3. Bridgeport, Conn.
> Current gas price: $3.95
> Month ago: $4.03
> Year ago: $3.99
> State gasoline taxes: 49.3 cents per gallon

Like other cities in Connecticut, Bridgeport’s gas prices are kept high by state taxes and the need to import the gasoline that state drivers consume. The city claims the distinction of being the most heavily taxed in the entire U.S., according to a report from tax preparation firm H&R Block. A family of three with an income of $50,000 pays 24.5% of that income in state and local taxes in the city, with property taxes taking the biggest bite — 84% of the total. Gas prices in Bridgeport range from as low as $3.67 to as high as $4.09 per gallon.

2. Santa Barbara, Calif.
> Current gas price: $3.97
> Month ago: $4.12
> Year ago: $4.22
> State gasoline taxes: 53.5 cents per gallon

This southern California city of Santa Barbara faces most of the same issues that drive up the cost of gasoline in San Francisco. State taxes are the highest in the country, at 53.5 cents per gallon. There are no pipelines to transport refined products directly to Santa Barbara, so the higher cost of surface transportation may account for the high gasoline price. Prices in Santa Barbara vary especially widely, from $3.44 at the low end to $4.53 in some places.

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1. Honolulu, Hawaii
> Current gas price: $4.23
> Month ago: $4.23
> Year ago: $4.23
> State gasoline taxes: 50.6 cents per gallon

Hawaii, like Alaska, pays for its isolation. Next to New York City, Honolulu claims the highest cost of living of any U.S. city. The state’s total gasoline taxes, at 50.6 cents per gallon, are second only to California’s. Honolulu itself collects a tax of 16.5 cents per gallon on gasoline, and the city council just rejected the new mayor’s request to raise that by a nickel. In the city, prices range from as little as $4.13 to as much as $4.35.

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