The California Board of Equalization recently voted to increase the state's gas tax, a move that will result in the Golden State having the most expensive such tax in the U.S. Within the state, gas taxes will be raised 3.5 cents to a total of 39.5 cents per gallon. When federal taxes are included, drivers will be paying 70.6 cents per gallon, Mercury News reports.
California's prices are drastically different than many other places in the country. Alaska and Georgia each charge only 8 cents per gallon, and the average throughout all states is 23.5 cents. Virginia has even made strides to eliminate the gas tax entirely, replacing it instead with a 3.5 wholesale tax on standard gas and a 6 percent tax on diesel fuel.
The increase goes into effect July 1 and should help the state collect funds to put toward the massive deficits in California. According to Mercury News, the western state suffered from a $157 million shortfall in its gas-tax revenue in 2012 as more residents turn to eco-friendly methods of transportation, whether they are public options, bikes, hybrids or other forms. With less people paying the gas tax, those drivers that do are forced to pick up the slack, which places a priority on scheduling vehicle maintenance to make sure factors affecting fuel economy are in top shape.