The state known for typically having some of the highest fuel prices and fuel taxes in the nation will see them move higher later this year.
The California Board of Equalization has voted to increase the excise tax on gasoline by 3.5 cents per gallon. This will move it up to 39.5 cents a gallon starting on July 1.
The board reviews the tax annually to make sure fuel tax revenues remain steady to pay for infrastructure work. Less fuel use due to higher pump prices and more fuel efficient cars have cut into the money brought in the past several years. The excise tax is not directly paid by consumers, but it is typically passed along to them by retailers.
Recent figures indicate diesel use has increased in the Golden State, and it has escaped seeing an excise tax hike by the board at least through the end of June of 2014. However, the state sales tax on diesel increased the first of this year and is set to move up slightly higher this year, although far less than the hike that will be seen on the state gasoline excise tax rate.
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Wyoming has raised the rate of its taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel from 14 to 24 cents a gallon, effective July 1 this year.
The Wyoming Trucking Association supported the increase, seeing it as the best way to raise money for the state’s roads, far better than either tolls or a weight-distance tax on heavy vehicles, according to the American Trucking Associations' State Laws Newsletter.
The legislation (H.B. 69) was signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead Feb. 15. Mead has been pushing for a new source of funding for the state Department of Transportation since he took office two years ago, according to the Billings Gazette.
The tax is expected to generate $71.8 million per year in additional revenue for highways and roads. Of that total, $47.4 million would go to the Wyoming Department of Transportation to maintain highways, $16.4 million to county roads, $6.7 million to city roads and $1.2 million for state parks.
The department estimated it needs $134 million a year just to maintain highways in their current condition.
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