Rapper Fat Joe heads to jail for failing to pay federal taxes
IRS grants same-sex married couples equal federal tax filing status regardless of where in the United States they live

State taxes, assorted fuel fees, drive up cost of a gallon of gas

Are you taking a road trip this Labor Day weekend? You'll pay more for gas if you're traveling in one of these 10 states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and Washington.

Gas pump hoseThose states, according to the American Petroleum Institute's July 2013 report (the oil industry trade group updates its data quarterly), top the list of taxes added to the pump price of gasoline.

The listing above is alphabetical. Here's how they line up when you sort them based on the taxes charged per gallon of gas:

  1. California, total gas taxes = 71.9 cents per gallon (cpg)
  2. Hawaii = 69.0 cpg
  3. New York = 68.25 cpg
  4. Connecticut = 67.7 cpg
  5. Michigan = 57.9 cpg
  6. Illinois = 57.5 cpg
  7. Indiana = 57.3 cpg
  8. North Carolina = 56.3 cpg
  9. Washington = 55.9 cpg
  10. Florida = 53.8 cpg

The gas tax amounts above are the combined federal gasoline excise tax of 18.4 cpg and the added taxes and other fees that states assess in connection with the fuel.

The national average of combined gas taxes in the API's latest analysis is 49.4 cpg. Nineteen states have federal, state and local taxes and fees that are greater than that average.

Federal gas tax: Some quick notes about the federal gas tax, which first appeared in 1932 as a way to fight growing deficits.

In the first year of existence, the Internal Revenue Service reported that it generated $125 million tax dollars, nearly 8 percent of all federal revenue. Since its inception, the gas excise tax has increased 10 times. The most recent hike was in 1993 when it was set at the current 18.4 cpg rate.

But while Uncle Sam has been holding the gas tax line, states regularly tweak their assorted fuel-related charges.

Those charges, as noted in Bankrate.com's slide show look at the top 10 gas tax states, contribute to the price we pay at the pump. That listing also is the Weekly Tax Tip.

State taxes only: The midyear evaluation by the American Petroleum Institute put California at the front of the gas tax parade.

California gas taxes via Bankrate

It is indeed the Golden State's gasoline excise tax, which increased 3.5 cents to 39.5 cpg on July 1, that helped it earn this current dubious honor.

But 39.5 cents plus the federal 18.4-cent tax only adds up to 57.9 cpg. The other 14 cpg comes, in part, from California sales taxes and a 2 cpg state underground storage tank, or UST, fee.

Those taxes are enough to help make California the state with the second-highest cost for operating a car.

Sometimes those other taxes and fees really add up.

Take Florida. It made the top 10 gas tax list, but when compared to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, its gas excise tax of 4 cpg comes in dead last. The Sunshine State, however, adds another 31.4 cents to each gallon of gas bought in there.

The added charge comes from the state's sales tax, county option taxes, additional local option taxes and the State Comprehensive Enhanced Transportation System Tax, or SCETS.

State gas taxes only: The list below provides a look at how the states rank (July 2013 data) as far as just their excise tax on gasoline.

1. California
     39.5 cpg
14. Idaho
       25.0 cpg
27. Massachusetts
       21.0 cpg
40. New Mexico
       17.0 cpg
2. North Carolina
     37.6 cpg
15. Connecticut
       25.0 cpg
28. West Virginia
       20.5 cpg
41. Missouri
       17.0 cpg
3. Washington
     37.5 cpg
16. Utah
       24.5 cpg
29. Louisiana
       20.0 cpg
42. Alabama
       16.0 cpg
4. Rhode Island
     32.0 cpg
17. Kansas
       24.0 cpg
30. Tennessee
       20.0 cpg
43. Oklahoma
       16.0 cpg
5. Kentucky
     30.9 cpg
18. Washington, D.C.
       23.5 cpg
31. Texas
       20.0 cpg
44. South Carolina
       16.0 cpg
6. Wisconsin
     30.9 cpg
19. Delaware
       23.0 cpg
32. Illinois
       19.0 cpg
45. Virginia
       14.8 cpg
7. Maine
     30.0 cpg
20. Nevada
       23.0 cpg
33. Michigan
       19.0 cpg
46. Pennsylvania
       12.0 cpg
8. Oregon
     30.0 cpg
21. North Dakota
       23.0 cpg
34. Vermont
       18.2 cpg
47. New Jersey
       10.5 cpg
9. Minnesota
     28.5 cpg
22. Wyoming
       23.0 cpg
35. Indiana
       18.0 cpg
48. New York
       8.1 cpg
10. Ohio
       28.0 cpg
23. Colorado
       22.0 cpg
36. New Hampshire
       18.0 cpg
49. Alaska
       8.0 cpg
11. Maryland
       27.4 cpg
24. South Dakota
       22.0 cpg
37. Hawaii
       17.0 cpg
50. Georgia
       7.5 cpg
12. Montana
       27.0 cpg
25. Arkansas
       21.5 cpg
38. Arizona
       18.0 cpg
51. Florida
       4.0 cpg
13. Nebraska
       26.3 cpg
26. Iowa
       21.0 cpg
39. Mississippi
       18.0 cpg
cpg =
cents per gallon

The average state gasoline excise tax the second quarter of 2013 is 20.9 cpg, according to API, up 0.3 cpg from the first quarter analysis done in April. That puts Iowa and Massachusetts, each with a 21 cpg state gas tax, and West Virginia with its 20.5 tax on either side of the break point.

Other levies -- applicable sales taxes, gross receipts taxes, oil inspection fees, county and local taxes, underground storage tank fees and other miscellaneous environmental fees -- came to 9.7 cpg nationwide in the second quarter of the year, unchanged from January's numbers.

Before you head out or while you're on the road, Gas Buddy and Mapquest can help you find the best pump price bargains.

As you watch the dollar amount roll by while you fill up, you can ponder the tax component.

Gas taxes also could be a more fun part of your end-of-summer travels. Use the tax data as a new road trip game, such as car bingo, with the kids to enhance their math skills before the new school year kicks in in earnest.

You also might find these items of interest:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.