Special Report

States With the Highest (and Lowest) Gas Taxes

36. Rhode Island
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 14.6% (15th highest)
> State fuel tax: 33.0 cents per gallon (11th highest)
> Gas price: $2.27 (12th highest)

Rhode Island’s fuel tax of 33 cents per gallon is the 11th highest in the nation, yet the state is one of the lowest spenders on highways, measured as a percentage of its state budget. The reason for the gap in these values could be that Rhode Island has relatively few roads. Still, the state has major infrastructure problems, including the 56% of bridge surface area in the state that was found to be deficient in December 2013, one of the highest rates in the country.

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37. Ohio
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 14.6% (14th highest)
> State fuel tax: 28.0 cents per gallon (20th highest)
> Gas price: $1.92 (7th lowest)

Ohio overhauled its fuel tax in July of last year, instituting the petroleum activity tax. This tax charges suppliers 0.65% of gross receipts, or the dollar amount they receive for selling fuel. A part of the new tax, gasoline is excluded from Ohio’s commercial activities tax, which is assessed on a business’ revenues.

38. Minnesota
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 14.8% (13th highest)
> State fuel tax: 28.6 cents per gallon (19th highest)
> Gas price: $1.94 (9th lowest)

Minnesota is one of only a few states where gas cost less than $2 per gallon. Unlike in many other states with low gas prices, however, the low price is not due to low taxes. The state’s fuel tax of 28.6 cents per gallon was one of the higher fuel taxes. Instead, the low price of gas is likely due to other factors. For example, the state is among the nation’s top producers of ethanol, which is a component of nearly all gasoline.

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39. Illinois
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 15.0% (12th highest)
> State fuel tax: 30.7 cents per gallon (15th highest)
> Gas price: $2.05 (24th highest)

Illinois’ average fuel tax is driven up by local charges that a number of counties levy. In Chicago, residents must pay an extra 5 cents to the city, and an extra 6 cents to Cook County. Despite paying more than the majority of Americans in taxes, residents also benefit from the state’s large refining capacity and its status an energy transportation hub.

40. Indiana
> Tax as pct. of gas price: 15.3% (11th highest
> State fuel tax: 29.9 cents per gallon (18th highest)
> Gas price: $1.95 (16th lowest)

As one of the nation’s top manufacturing states, fuel cost and taxation are perhaps greater concerns for Indiana’s industries than for private consumers. Drivers in the state pay less than $2 per gallon, one of the lower gas prices nationwide. A number of factors may help keep gas prices down: Indiana’s energy is largely derived from coal, the state is a major producer of ethanol, and BP’s Whiting facility is the nation’s largest inland refinery.The state tax, on the other hand, is among the higher figures.