‘Ask Evan’: “Why are gas prices in PA so much higher than in neighboring states?”

This week's 'Ask Evan' comes from Edward H in Chambersburg.  Edward asks, "I would like to know why gas is so expensive in Pennsylvania?  Gas in Maryland and other states is 20 cents per gallon cheaper!"

Gasoline prices in Central Pennsylvania are close to three dollars per gallon.  And while gas prices go up and down depending on the price of oil and other economic factors, there is one fairly constant factor in play-- taxes.

In Pennsylvania more than 25 percent of the cost of each gallon of gas goes to state and federal taxes.  As of April first of this year, the state of Pennsylvania has the highest tax of all 50 states.  77.1 cents of each and every gallon of gasoline is tax money.  58.7 cents is state tax and 18.4 cents per gallon is federal tax.

Much of the high state tax is because of Act 89.  This is commonly known as the transportation bill.  It's a bipartisan 2013 law that boosted bridge and road work by billions of dollars, to be paid for in part with increased gas tax money.

So yes, neighboring states have cheaper gas.  In Maryland the gas tax is 52.2 cents per gallon-- which is almost 25 cents per gallon cheaper.  New Jersey's tax gas is 55.5 cents per gallon. The New York tax rate is 63.09 cents per gallon.  The national average is 52.8 cents of tax per gallon.  In case you are wondering, the lowest per gallon tax rate in the country is in Alaska at  32.6 cents.

Edward, Thanks for the question.  Remember, if you have a question you'd like to ask send me an email at AskEvan@FOX43.com.  Please put 'Ask Evan' in the subject line.  You can also reach out to me on Facebook at Evan Forrester FOX43.  Whatever the  topic I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.