Auto association AAA has announced that gasoline price movements were mixed last month. State by state, the price changes were muted. While the group said the price of oil was the primary component of the changes, gas taxes are among the primary reasons gas prices are low from state to state. The taxes range from $0.60 per gallon in Pennsylvania to low of just above $0.12 in Alaska. In the five states with the highest gas taxes, the amount is above $0.44.
In the most recent analysis, Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said:
Three-fourths of the country faced below freezing temperatures last week which may have prompted many motorists, especially in the mid-west, to fill-up early and often ahead of the storm, in turn driving demand. This is similar to what we see prior to hurricanes. Now that the storm has passed, demand and is likely to fall more in-line with typical February estimates.
During the first week in February, only eight states had price increases. The AAA reported the average cost for a gallon of regular stayed at $2.26 nationwide. The agency also pointed out that gas demand was 9.6 million barrels a day in the United States for the final week in January, based on Energy Information Administration data. This is close to the level of demand in many weeks of the summer. The drop in cold weather will cut that. However, demand levels have increased gas prices compared to a year ago, up $0.34 a gallon.
Gas taxes are a much larger contributor to prices states with high levies. These include, in order of the 10 most expensive per gallon from top to bottom:
- Pennsylvania, $0.587
- California, $0.535
- Washington, $0.494
- Hawaii, $0.490
- New York, $0.443
- Michigan, $0.424
- Indiana, $0.419
- Florida, $0.416
- Connecticut, $0.393
- New Jersey, $0.371
High gas taxes are often part of the funding for state roads. According to the 24/7 Wall St. article, States With the Highest and Lowest Gas Taxes:
A large share of the nation’s roads are in mediocre to poor condition. According to a report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers, some 21% of major U.S. highways have “poor pavement condition.” In some parts of the country, the problem is far more pronounced. In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, over 30% of roads are in sub-optimal condition.
Find out more about the states with the highest and lowest gas taxes.