4 States Overdue for a Gas-Tax Increase

By 
Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

gas pump

WASHINGTON -- As infrastructure costs grow, more than half of U.S. states have boosted or tweaked their gas tax in the past five years.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), Washington, D.C., 27 states have increased or reformulated their gas-tax rates since 2013. One of the most recent is Oklahoma, which will raise its gas tax by 3 cents per gallon (CPG) and diesel tax by 6 CPG on June 27, 2018. This will be the first time it has raised its gas tax since 1987. In November, voters in Missouri will decide on a proposed 10-CPG increase. 

Meanwhile, 18 states have not raised their gas-tax rates in a decade or more, and a dozen have not increased them in two decades or more, according to ITEP. Here are the four states that have gone the longest ...

Photo courtesy of djedzura. 

1. Alaska: 48 years

alaska skyline

Alaska’s gasoline tax has sat at 8 CPG since 1961. The most recent effort to increase the tax, which was backed by Gov. Bill Walker, would have increased the gas tax by 8 CPG in 2017 and to 24 CPG in 2018. But the 2017 legislation stalled in the state legislature.

However, Anchorage implemented its first tax on gasoline and diesel fuel in March. The 10-CPG increase is expected to raise about $14 million per year, according to the Anchorage Daily News. This will allow the city to lower property taxes to the tune of about $130 less in 2018 for the average homeowner.

Photo courtesy of Chilkoot. 

2. Mississippi: 29 years

mississippi state legislature

Mississippi’s gasoline tax has remained at 18.4 CPG since 1989. Recently, Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn proposed legislation that would increase the gas tax by 8 CPG to raise an estimated $160 million, with a corresponding decrease of the state income tax, the Daily Journal reported. The gas tax would also be indexed to inflation.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

3. Louisiana: 28 years

louisiana

Louisiana’s gasoline tax has sat at 20 CPG since 1990, despite various efforts to increase it. One of the most recent happened in 2017, with a bill that would have raised the gas tax by 17 CPG to collect $500 million per year. It would also have tied the tax to inflation. It failed to get enough votes to pass the state legislature, according to The Times-Picayune. Another proposal that would have allowed Louisiana parishes and municipalities to raise their gas taxes failed to clear the House this past March.

4. Illinois: 28 years

illinois state sign

And in Illinois, where the gas tax has remained at 19 CPG since 1990, a think tank has proposed raising it to 85 CPG. The Illinois Economic Policy Institute said quadrupling the gas tax would get the state’s transportation infrastructure in good repair, according to NPR Illinois.

To see more states that have gone years without a gas-tax increase, click here.

Photo courtesy of Nick Youngson.