The smartest college students in Boston know that on the way back from a ski trip, you’ve got to stop at the liquor store to pick up supplies before you cross the border back into Massachusetts. That’s because New Hampshire has no alcohol tax, whereas Massachusetts takes $4.05 per gallon in taxes from the sale of the standard volume spirits with 40% alcohol.
It turns out that the same discrepancies exist for fuel taxes. In addition to the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon (CPG) for gasoline, each state issues unique taxes and fees which are compounded with federal rate.
These additional costs vary significantly across state lines. On the low end, Alaska collects 12.4 CPG for gasoline on top of the federal tax. On the high end, New York collects 50.5 CPG.
In this study, we’ve taken the federal tax out of the equation in order to analyze patterns and differences in state fuel taxes. Like so many “cost of living” heat maps, the discrepancy between the coasts and the interior of the US is striking. The four most expensive states to live in, according to CNBC, are New York, California, Connecticut and Hawaii. These are also the four states with the highest taxes on gasoline. Fun fact: the fifth most expensive state to live in, Alaska, has the cheapest gasoline taxes. Drill baby, drill! [keep reading]