Memorial Day drivers undeterred by gas prices & taxes
Friday, May 25, 2018
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and apparently we are ready for the lazy, hazy season.
AAA says that travel during this long holiday weekend is expected to be at near-record levels. And it actually began on Thursday.
More than 41.5 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA. That's nearly 5 percent more than last year and the most in more than a dozen years.
You know what that means. Travel delays, especially in urban areas this afternoon where holiday revelers heading out of town mix with commuters.
Taxes and travel: It also means higher gasoline prices in most places for the 36.6 million expected to hit the highways this Memorial Day holiday.
But folks seem pretty sanguine about the pump prices.
"The highest gas prices since 2014 won't keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend," said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing. "A strong economy and growing consumer confidence are giving Americans all the motivation they need to kick off what we expect to be a busy summer travel season with a Memorial Day getaway."
Part of the pump price in most states is fuel excise taxes. As noted in a post earlier this week, some Californians are hoping to repeal the Golden State's recent gas tax hike this November.
But around 1,500 miles to the east, other voters will be asked to approve a gas tax hike.
Show Me more gas tax revenue: Missouri voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether they want a 10-cent gas tax hike. The tax's last increase came in 1996.
Missouri's current gasoline tax is 17 cents per gallon. That's the fourth lowest among motor fuel taxes in the nation.
Show Me State legislative researchers project the dime-per-gallon tax increase could raise as much as $293 million by fiscal year 2027. The added revenue would pay for maintenance and repair of roads and bridges, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Slow moving gas taxes: We Americans love our autos. That's why we hate gas taxes. And despite the highway and infrastructure needs across the country, it's also why many governments, including Uncle Sam, are reluctant to increase fuel excise taxes.
Just how long has it been since your state raised its gas tax? The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, or ITEP, created the nifty map below to answer that question.
Highlights of the data ITEP used to create the map and in its full report show that:
- 18 states have waited a decade or longer since last increasing their gas tax rates.
- 12 states have gone two decades or more without a gas tax increase.
- 1 state — Alaska — has not increased its gas tax since the 1970s and another — Mississippi — not since the 1980s.
On the federal level, the U.S. gas tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993.
Here's hoping all the uncollected gas tax revenue over the years doesn't make for too rough highway travel as you head out this Memorial Day weekend.
You also might find these items of interest:
- When did your state adopt its gasoline tax?
- New Jersey hikes gas tax by 23 cents per gallon
- Trump taking truckers' call for increased gas tax to heart
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