The summer vacation driving season is here. Do you know what your state's fuel tax rate is?
The American Petroleum Institute (API) does. The national trade association for the U.S. oil and natural gas industry regularly tracks gasoline and diesel fuel tax rates.
Today it released its latest data compilation, which reflects changes that take effect tomorrow, July 1.
States with fuel tax changes since January include Connecticut (diesel only), Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington.
API also tracks rate increases that are due to sales tax increases or increases in the price of fuel. States in which these type of changes have (or will occur July 1) include Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii (diesel only), Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York and West Virginia.
Based on the July 1 effective date data, the average amount of tax imposed on a gallon of gasoline sold in the United States will be 49.4 cents per gallon, up 2.4 cents from the January report. That includes the 18.4 cents per gallon federal fuel excise tax.
For diesel fuel, API found that the national average amount of tax was 56.4 cents per gallon, up 2.8 cents from six months ago.
The map below gives a good indication of where gasoline is most costly, tax-wise. Red states have combined federal and state gas taxes greater than 49.4 cents per gallon. Yellow state taxes are between 40 and 49.04 cents per gallon. Blue states charge less than 40 cents per gallon.
More details on the latest state fuel tax rates can be found in API's chart (PDF version), which reflects a weighted average for each state. This means that any taxes which can vary across a state's jurisdiction are averaged according to the population of the local areas subject to each particular tax rate.
Where appropriate, the weighted average also takes into consideration the typical percentages of premium, mid-grade, and regular fuel purchased in each state.
In states where taxes vary depending upon the price of the motor fuel (for example, where the tax rate is set as a percentage of the sales price rather than a cents per gallon method), the state average listed on API's chart is a snapshot based upon the price of fuel as reported by AAA. The fuel prices used by API for this latest chart were recorded on June 19, so it's likely that the actual amounts right now are a bit higher.