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How long has it been since your state raised its gas tax?

  • How long has it been since your state raised its gas tax?

    Gas taxes, also called motor fuel taxes, are excise taxes drivers pay on every gallon of gasoline they buy, with diesel and other alternative fuels taxed separately. The lion's share of gas tax revenue is used to maintain roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure.

    When Oregon mandated the nation's first gas tax in 1919, 11 years after Henry Ford unveiled the Model T, it did so “for the repair of the damage done to said highways by such vehicles, machines, and engines traveling thereon.” A little more than a decade later, every state in the Union levied a gas tax. The first federal gas tax was established by the Revenue Act in 1932.

    A full century after Oregon's experiment, the gas tax remains a crucial source of infrastructure funding. And yet, the federal gas tax has stayed stagnant with an unchanged rate of 18.3 cents per gallon since 1993. During that quarter-century, inflation has dramatically decreased the buying power of that sum, average fuel efficiency has improved by roughly 20%, and highway construction costs have more than doubled, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The result is a crumbling U.S. infrastructure.

    It's not just the federal government losing revenue to antiquated rates. Twenty percent of U.S. states maintain gas tax rates even older than the federal rate, with many others woefully outdated in spite of being more recently updated. Using ITEP data and independent research, Stacker has ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to when gas taxes were last raised. The gallery goes in order from most recent to least as of Jan. 1, 2019.

    Read on to find out where your state stands.

    RELATED: States where people receive the biggest tax refunds

  • #51. South Carolina (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.5

    South Carolina's gas tax increased by 2 cents to 20.75 cents in July 2018. The increase is the second round in a 12-cent hike slated to take place over the course of six years. The first round went into effect in July 2017, when the gas tax was raised for the first time in 30 years.

  • #51. Maryland (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.5

    Maryland's gas tax increased by 1.5 cents per gallon on July 1, 2018. Prices have been on the rise in the Mid-Atlantic state since 2013 when major reform legislation tied the gas tax to fuel prices and inflation.

  • #51. New York (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.5

    New Yorkers pay one of the highest fuel taxes in the United States. Just four states levy more than the roughly 45 cents per gallon the Empire State collects per gallon. The state raised the gas tax by a little more than a penny per gallon last July 1.

  • #51. Vermont (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.5

    Also in July of last year, Vermont raised its gas tax by 42 cents per gallon. Vermont's gas tax is directly tied to the price of oil, so when oil prices surged, so, too, did the taxes motorists pay for the privilege of gassing up.

  • #51. Oklahoma (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.5

    Although Oklahoma raised its gas tax by 3 cents to 19 cents per gallon on July 1, 2018, the Sooner State's motor fuel tax is still among the lowest in the nation. The increase was historic, considering Oklahoma had held its rate steady for more than three decades.

  • #46. Indiana

    Years since last gas tax increase: 0.6

    Note: Indiana applies general sales tax to gasoline, so its gas tax rates are updated based on changes in the price of gas, but this is not reflected in the data.

    Because its sales tax rate is tied to gas, rates in Indiana will continue to be adjusted through 2024. In June 2018, the tax was raised by 1 cent as part of a smaller section of a bill that increased the state's gas tax by 10% the year prior.

  • #41. Oregon (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 1

    On Jan. 1, 2018, Oregon raised its gas tax by 4 cents. That hike was the start of a 10-cent increase that's slated to be rolled out in stages ending on Jan. 1, 2024, when the final 2-cent increase goes into effect.

  • #41. Nebraska (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 1

    Previously enacted legislation has caused Nebraska's gas tax rate to rise incrementally over the past several years. The last of a four-part hike—each of which consisted of a 1.5-cent increase for a total of 6 cents per gallon—was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

  • #41. North Carolina (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 1

    North Carolina recently reformed its gas tax formula, which led to a phased-in tax increase. The first phase was a 0.3-cent increase in 2017, followed by a 0.8-cent increase on Jan. 1 the following year.

  • #41. Georgia (tie)

    Years since last gas tax increase: 1

    Georgia raised its gas tax by 0.5 cents per gallon on Jan. 1, 2018. Rates are determined by legislation enacted in 2015 and are now adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

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