Gas Taxes

States have a variety of tools for raising tax revenue, and use them to varying extents.  Thus you can be in a low income tax state and still pay exorbitant taxes.

The gas tax is a case in point.  The average consumer drives approximately 13,350 miles per year.  With an average MPG figure of 25.2, that equates the use of 530 gallons per year.  That’s probably low, as it doesn’t factor in idling, which kills MPG.

In Pennsylvania, that translates into $308 of state gasoline tax the average driver pays each year.  In South Carolina, the average gas tax paid is $89 per year.  In Alaska, the lowest state, it’s $65.

Perhaps people don’t protest the gas tax because it’s not a big check one writes once a year.  Instead, it’s a constant nibbling at one’s wallet.  However, the nibbles add up.

States use a variety of these little taxes to avoid raising income and property taxes, but the effect on the consumer is the same regardless of how its done.

What are the odd little ways your state taxes you?


  1. Federal Highway Administration, “Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group,”
  2. Nora Naughton, “Average U.S. mpg edges up to 25.5 in May,” Automotive News, June 4, 2015.
  3. Samuel Stebbins, “States With the Highest (and Lowest) Gas Taxes,” 24/7WallStreet, 3 February 2017.

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