Gas taxes: States with the highest and lowest fees at the pump

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When consumers fill up at the gas pump, they are hit with an abundance of federal, state, and local taxes and fees. 

Those fees vary drastically depending on where you are in the country. In some cases, they can even significantly between state lines. 

The nationwide average tax on gasoline — including the federal excise tax, the states’ excise, as well as other fees and taxes – was 57.09 cents per gallon as of January 2022, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). 

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According to the API's data, California drivers pay the most in gasoline taxes when factoring in federal excise tax, the state excise as well as other taxes and fees. In total, motorists across the state have to shell out 86.55 cents per gallon, according to the API data. 

However, on July 1, the Sunshine State is slated to raise its state excise tax, which is already 51 cents per gallon, by 5.6%. 

Illinois, Pennsylvania and Hawaii are not far behind California with the total gas tax in each state above 70 cents per gallon. 

Comparatively, drivers in Alaska are paying the least. The total gas tax in the state amounts to 33.53 cents per gallon, according to the data.  

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No matter where motorists live, though, they all face the same federal excise tax on gasoline. The federal government imposes a tax of 18.4-cents per gallon for gasoline and a tax of 24 cents per gallon for diesel. Those taxes fund the nation's highways and public transportation through the Highway Trust Fund. 

Recently, President Biden has been pushing for a gas tax holiday to "give Americans a little extra breathing room as they deal with the effects of Putin’s war in Ukraine," according to the White House. 

As of Monday, the national average retail price for a gallon of gasoline sat at $4.89, which is $1.35 higher since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. 

If Congress heeds Biden's call to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes through September, consumers nationwide will immediately save the 18.4 cents per gallon for gas and 24 cents for diesel. 

Biden acknowledged that the brief tax holiday "won't fix the pain Americans are feeling at the pump" although he says it will provide "some immediate relief." 

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It’s still unclear, though, if Biden can push his proposal through Congress, where lawmakers, including some Democrats, are skeptical or even opposed to the idea. Many economists also are wary of a gas tax holiday.

API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, Frank Macchiarola, told FOX Business that some policymakers "continue to turn to short-term fixes in lieu of long-term solutions."

"If Washington is serious about delivering relief to consumers, then they should be focused on policies that encourage increased U.S. production and address the global mismatch between energy demand and available supply," Macchiarola said. 

Meanwhile, some local governments have already taken steps to ease the pain at the pump. Earlier this month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the Empire State was cutting its state gas tax through the end of the year. 

"New Yorkers are feeling pain at the pump, so today we’re cutting the state gas tax through the end of the year — now delivering over $600 million in direct relief," Hochul tweeted.  

Connecticut Gov. New Lamont suspended the state's excise tax on gasoline through Nov. 30 and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear filed an emergency regulation to freeze the state gas tax, ultimately preventing the 2-cent per gallon increase that was slated to take effect July 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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