Yesterday we showed something strange: while oil prices have rebounded from multi-year recent lows, gasoline prices have not only rebounded but have done so with a vengeance, sending retail gasoline at the pump is now back to levels last seen just over a year ago, even as WTI (and Brent) is materially lower. As we concluded, "gas prices are unchanged while oil prices are 25% lower."
Something did not add up, which prompted some readers to inquire if this was purely a function of higher gasoline taxes. We don't know the answer, and assume it is a deep secret of America's refiners, but we did find out what the gasoline motor fuel taxes by state are.
Here is the summary from API:
The nationwide average tax on gasoline is 48.04 cpg, up 0.05 cpg from the January 2016 study. A summary of federal and state excise taxes and other taxes collected on gasoline is shown below. The federal tax on gasoline is 18.40 cpg. The average state gasoline excise tax is 20.88, unchanged from the January 2016 study. Other taxes (such as applicable sales taxes, gross receipts taxes, oil inspection fees, county and local taxes, underground storage tank fees and other miscellaneous environmental fees) were 8.76 cpg, up 0.05 cpg from January. Adding these taxes and fees to the state excise taxes results in a volume-weighted average state and local tax of 29.64 cpg.
The regional breakdown of fuel taxes is as follows:
And here are the gas tax rates, effective as of April 1, in every US state from the highest (Pennsylvania, Washington, and New York), to the lowest (South Carolina, New Jersey - yes NJ has a low tax for something - and Alaska).