Nearly 20 states have raised gas taxes or recalculated gas-tax formulas in recent years to generate additional revenues. Which, of course, is an extremely politically expedient way to raise taxes on the unsuspecting masses since when gas prices soar later those price increases can simply be blamed on those evil oil corporations.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, the ease with which higher gas taxes have been passed through state governments over the past two years have emboldened at least a dozen more states, all of which are now actively considering additional gas taxes.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is putting his fellow Republican lawmakers to the test, with a plan to raise the state’s gas taxes for the first time in nearly three decades.
In Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker, an independent, proposed tripling the state’s gas tax to 24 cents a gallon by 2018. The state has the lowest gas tax in the country and hasn’t raised it since 1970. In his recent state of the state address, Mr. Walker said he is trying to deal with a $3 billion fiscal gap, after state revenues collapsed by more than 80% from four years ago due in large part to the drop in oil and natural-gas prices.
New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie raised the state’s gasoline tax last year by 23 cents a gallon, his first tax hike in two terms as governor, which he offset with some other tax reductions.
On Thursday, the Republican-dominated Indiana House voted 61 to 36 in favor of increasing the state gas tax from 18 cents a gallon to 28 cents with annual adjustment increases possible through 2024. The bill now goes to the state Senate.
In yet another map that looks eerily similar to the 2016 electoral college map, here is where states currently stand on gas taxes. Of course, the irony here is that the ultra-liberal states of the Northeast and West coast have the highest gas taxes...and while that might play well with their global warming narrative, gas taxes are among the most regressive forms of tax as they disproportionately impact lower-income families. And unfortunately, unlike the cost of other goods and services that are driven to artificially high levels by misinformed government policies (did someone say Obamacare?), we suspect you'll never see the leftist states of America subsidizing gasoline for poor people.
Despite serving as an easy scapegoat, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration notes, only 48% of the price that Americans pay at the pump actually goes to the evil oil companies for crude production. Meanwhile, on average, nearly 20% of gas costs get sent to various federal, state and local government entities with the highest taxed states like PA, WA, NY and CA collecting even more.
But, higher gas problems aren't a significant long-term threat because everyone will just buy an $80,000 Tesla, right? And, for those reading this post from the state of California please continue to ignore the fact that your Tesla is fueled by coal...