The coronavirus pandemic has curbed Americans' love for the road, keeping many people at home in the past year and cutting into sales at the fuel pump.
That has meant a backlog in work funded by gasoline taxes. More than $8.5 billion worth of highway work and other infrastructure projects across the United States have been canceled or halted temporarily, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association told the Washington Post. Even before the pandemic, many states’ highway funds were becoming depleted, failing to keep up with construction and repair demands. A study completed in 2020 by accounting firm KPMG predicts that miles traveled will remain at about 90% of pre-2020 levels.
The pandemic has focused new attention on a problem that states are grappling with throughout the country. With increased sales of electric vehicles and fuel-efficient vehicles, how should states fund transportation projects? Some are considering levying a tax based on miles driven. Others are promoting green initiatives that could see increases at the pump.
The current 2021 U.S. average tax rate stands at 36.83 per gallon for gasoline and 37.85 for diesel fuel. CoPilot used 2021 data from the American Petroleum Institute to rank states with the highest gasoline and diesel taxes. The states are ranked by the 2021 gasoline tax, ties are broken by the 2021 diesel tax, and further ties are left. Both the state excise tax and other state taxes and fees are included in the tax data points. While this data is current as of Jan. 1, 2021, other federal, state, and local fees could be applied depending on an individual’s vehicle and fuel type, and tax rates are always subject to change based on state legislation. CoPilot also included a data point from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration showing total gasoline use in every state during 2019, the most recent year available.
Think you might be overpaying at the pump? See how your state's gas taxes compare to other states across the country.