Special Report

States With the Highest (and Lowest) Gas Taxes

41. West Virginia
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 15.3% (10th highest)
> State fuel tax: 34.6 cents per gallon (9th highest)
> Gas price: $2.26 (14th highest)

West Virginians pay 34.6 cents per gallon in state taxes and fees, while the average American pays roughly 30 cents per gallon in such charges. The state’ current gas tax rate actually marks a decline from past years. This is because the state calculates part of the tax based on wholesale prices, which have been declining recently.

42. Michigan
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 16.0% (9th highest)
> State fuel tax: 30.3 cents per gallon (16th highest)
> Gas price: $1.90 (5th lowest)

Gas taxes in Michigan total 16% of what consumers pay at the pump, thanks in large part to the considerable drop in gas prices. However, the state recently passed a measure to overhaul the fuel tax structure, with the aim of increasing funding for infrastructure. Michigan voters will consider the provision as part of a package of new laws during a vote in May. According to the Detroit Free Press, “The overall hike in the pump price of regular fuel is estimated at about 7 cents a gallon, though the size of the tax would vary depending on the wholesale price of fuel.”

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43. Washington
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 16.1% (8th highest)
> State fuel tax: 37.5 cents per gallon (7th highest)
> Gas price: $2.34 (8th highest)

Washingtonians pay a high yet relatively straightforward gas tax of 37.5 cents per gallon — a rate that has been in place since 2008. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has also taken a more novel approach to transportation funding, calling for a tax on polluters to help shore up funding for transportation as well as education.

44. Wisconsin
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 16.5% (7th highest)
> State fuel tax: 32.9 cents per gallon (12th highest)
> Gas price: $1.99 (19th lowest)

Wisconsinites pay nearly 33 cents per gallon at the pump, accounting for 16.5% of the total they spend on gas. Yet, despite fuel prices having reaching extremely low levels — Wisconsin’s average gas price is $1.99 per gallon, down from $3.27 per gallon 12 months ago — legislators have balked at the idea of raising gas taxes to improve transportation funding.

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45. Florida
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 16.6% (6th highest)
> State fuel tax: 36.4 cents per gallon (8th highest)
> Gas price: $2.20 (17th highest)

Florida’s fuel taxes are among the highest in the country, although they vary considerably within the state. The state is a massive consumer of gasoline, thanks to both its large population and its appeal as a tourist destination. According to the EIA, “Nine-tenths of Florida’s petroleum consumption occurs in the transportation sector” in the form of gasoline for cars and jet fuel for planes.