Holiday Travel Alert! The 5 States With the Highest Gas Taxes

June 30th, 2016 6:52 AM

If you’re taking advantage of the extended Independence Day weekend to embark on a road trip, you’ll be filling up the tank.

If you are researching prices to see just how much your trip will cost, have you thought about which states siphon the most money from each tank of gas you purchase?

Unlike the federal gasoline tax, which is set at 18.4 cents per gallon across the nation, states set their own gas taxes, which vary widely from 12.25 cents to 50.3 cents per gallon, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. Five states are the biggest money grubbers. If your weekend plans take you through these five states, just remember how much of your gas money is actually going straight to the state government:

Source: AAA Gas Prices and the American Petroleum Institute, April 28, 2016.

5. California

The “Golden State” loses some luster when you consider it has the 5th highest state gas tax and the overall highest gas price average in the nation, according to data from AAA. As of June 28, 2016, regular gas in California was $2.90 a gallon. Of that, 40.43 cents goes straight to the state government.

The state’s stricter environmental regulations also contribute to higher pump prices, a fact rarely pointed out by the liberal news media in discussions of gas prices.

4. Hawaii

Hawaii is the only state completely inaccessible to road tripping outsiders, but that hasn’t stopped the island state from having the 4th highest gas tax in the nation. In 2016, Hawaiians pay 41.99 cents per gallon to the state. On June 28, Hawaii had the second most expensive gas at $2.80 per gallon.

3. New York

When you fill up your gas tank in New York, one of the original 13 colonies to declare Independence from England, the government in Albany takes 42.32 cents for every gallon you buy. That amounts to the state pocketing more than 17 percent of every gas purchase in the state.   

2. Washington

Washington, the only state to be named after a US president, comes in second nationwide for the highest state gas tax. 44.5 cents per gallon of gasoline goes to the state government -- that’s about 1/6 the price of every gallon.

1. Pennsylvania

If your 4th of July travel plans take you to the heart of our nation’s founding -- Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia -- you’ll get to experience first hand the nation’s highest state tax on gasoline. The Pennsylvania state government tacks on a full 50.3 cents to each gallon of gas. Looking at it another way, if the state tax were removed, Pennsylvania’s average gas price would drop below $2 per gallon, to $1.94.