Inflation continues to hit Americans in the pocketbook – and the price of gas is no exception. By easing gas taxes, we could feel some relief not only at the pump but in the price of all goods that have to be transported. That would make an incredible difference to the average American’s budget.
As of the writing of this article, Californians can expect to pay $5.15 per gallon of gas – a whopping $1.74 more than the national average. While many blame oil companies for these prices, it’s the state and federal governments who are to blame for the difference. For every gallon of gas sold in California in 2022, PBF Energy, California’s third-largest oil refinery, made 78 cents per gallon. Yet, during that same period, the State took in 97 cents per gallon, plus 3.7% in state and local sales taxes. That is not to mention the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. Excluding the sales tax, that’s just over $20 in taxes every time an average-sized tank is filled.
That’s the expensive end of the spectrum, but we are all paying. In Colorado, which hovers near the national average of $3.40, or Texas, which has the current lowest price of $2.88 per gallon, we all feel the pinch of gas taxes. One way to provide relief is to adopt a gas tax holiday which provides a temporary respite from federal or state taxes – or both – to allow consumers a chance to catch up on other expenses, put some money aside and get a little bit of breathing room. Another option is a permanent reduction in the excise taxes charged on gasoline. Those are the taxes charged at the time of manufacture rather than sale.
But it’s not just paying for gas itself that makes the price of gas taxes so expensive. Gas taxes increase the price of gas and every good and service that requires transportation. Every time you see a truck hauling products down the road or you order products by ship or airplane, you have to pay for their gas, too. That makes everything from food to clothing, furniture and everything in between more expensive. So, that reduction in gasoline taxes would bring down the price of everything you consume.
As prices soar, a lot of Americans are having trouble making ends meet. Easing – or ending – high gas taxes is a simple step that would make it much simpler for budgets to balance.