Summer is here and Americans are hitting the highways in their cars, SUVs, trucks and campers for vacations, trips and family outings.
And that means a lot of gas will be sold at the pump.
While gas prices have slowly come back down over the last year, cash-poor state governments are already increasing taxes on gasoline as a way to maintain or repair roads in a rising economy coupled with more fuel-efficient cars.
That means it will cost you more to drive in these states.
The federal gasoline tax rate is 18.4 cents per gallon. States then add their own taxes and fees.
The American Petroleum Institute reports the average state gas tax across the country is around thirty-six cents per gallon. Thirty-six cents per gallon may not sound like much until you consider a two-car family might buy 1,500 gallons of gas in a year—that’s over $540 coming right out of motorist’s pockets.
If you’re looking to hit the road this summer, you may want to keep an eye on where you are traveling.
On the following pages are the 10 states with the Highest Gas Tax Rates:
#1: Pennsylvania 77.10 cents per gallon
Who would’ve thought Pennsylvania would lead the nation with highest gas tax beating car crazy California and neighboring New York state? The gas tax comes from legislation passed back in 2013. The revenue raised was to be used for road construction projects including overpasses and bridges but also includes administrative overhead, infrastructure repair and yes, the Pennsylvania state police (I guess tickets given out on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are not enough). And this from a state that still charges a hefty toll on it’s main East-West highway.
#2: California 73.58 cents per gallon
It should come as no surprise that in the land with more automobiles on the road in then any other state, Californians are not likely to give up their beloved cars or crowded freeways anytime soon. However, in a cash-starved state, legislators are looking to pick-the-pockets of constituents driving habits and are pushing for even higher state gas taxes. You can thank the state legislature this summer when you have to fill-up the tank several extra times just to drive up the Pacific Coast highway on vacation. They just approved another 7.5 cents a gallon increase in the state tax rate that should put the “Golden State” ahead of Pennsylvania this time next year.