WASHINGTON - The price of gasoline is always changing thanks to several factors, but one thing that doesn’t often change is the amount of taxes you pay per gallon.
Each time you fill up, you are paying a preset amount of federal, state, and local taxes and fees. Most of those funds help pay for highways and infrastructure, mass transit, fuel leak cleanup, and other transportation-related projects.
The federal gasoline tax, which applies evenly to all drivers nationwide, is 18.4 cents per gallon. But as any driver who lives near a state border has learned, the rest of the gas tax varies by state – sometimes by a lot.
According to data from the American Petroleum Institute, Alaska has the lowest total per-gallon gas tax at 33.53 cents per gallon, while California tops the list, with drivers paying a total of 86.55 cents per gallon.
The volume-weighted national gas tax average is 57.09 cents per gallon, but that will increase when California hikes its gas tax another 2.8 cents in July.
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To give inflation-weary drivers some relief, some states have implemented, or plan to implement, a temporary gas tax holiday. Meanwhile, President Biden has said he plans to call for a three-month repeal of the federal tax.
The API’s data, valid as of January 2022, reflects the combined per-gallon tax total, including the federal excise tax as well as the states’ excise, sales, and other taxes.
This story was reported from Tampa, Fla.