Published February 19, 2013
| 24/7 Wall St.
Gasoline prices have risen more than 13% during the past month, and the chance that the average price per gallon nationwide could reach $4.00 has become a real threat again. AAA’s Fuel Gauge statistics show that the average reached $3.73 over the Presidents’ Day weekend.
A national view of the numbers only tells a portion of the story. In some states, the average price per gallon has moved above $4.00, and several others they are very close to that benchmark. Nearly a third of the U.S. population lives in a state where gas prices are within ten cents of the $4.00 mark or higher. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the six states (and D.C.) with the highest gas prices.
Economists constantly debate the effects that gas prices have on consumer spending on other items, in addition to what people have to pay for their homes, cars, food and clothing. For people without cars, it is easy to measure. For people who need to commute to work, drive children to school, and shop regularly, the difference between gas at $3.30 and gas close to $4.00 could be several hundred dollars a year. That can be a substantial burden for a family, with the U.S. median household income of just over $50,000 — before taxes.
These are the seven states with sky-high gas prices.
> Price per gallon: $3.91
> Population: 9.9 million
> Output (barrels per day): 106,000
> Tax per gallon: 39.4 cents (5th highest)
The state built by the automobile industry has only one oil refinery, and its output is negligible compared to the national total. Michigan is yet another state in which about 10% of the price of a gallon of gas goes to state excise and other taxes. Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, actually wants to raise the gas tax even though the price could easily reach $4.00 in his state soon. LBJ.com reports that Snyder suggested in his State of the State address that Michigan taise the wholesale gas tax by 14 cents, with the goal of raising $1.2 billion for road repair and maintenance.
> Price per gallon: $3.94
> Population: 12.9 million
> Output (barrels per day): 939,600
> Tax per gallon: 38.9 cents (tied-7th highest)
Illinois has four refineries and a relatively high barrels per day output. However, the price-suppressing output is trumped to a large extent by its state gas and excise taxes, which are the seventh highest in the country and 10% of the total price of a gallon of regular gas. The high taxes in Illinois are exacerbated by local taxes. According to the State Journal Register: “Some municipalities pile their own sales taxes on fuel in addition — ranging from 0.25 percent in some small communities to 3.5 percent in the city of Chicago.”
To see the complete list of states with sky high gas prices, please visit 24/7 Wall. St.