Price of gas in New Jersey is going up due to tax hike

Katherine Scott Image
Thursday, October 1, 2020
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Drivers in New Jersey will see a jump at the pump starting on Thursday.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Drivers in New Jersey will see a jump at the pump starting on Thursday.

"I think it needs to be postponed, especially right now in this period that we living in," said driver James Beverly as he stopped to fill his tank in Pennsauken.

As of October 1, New Jersey's gas tax is going up 9.3 cents a gallon, roughly a 22% increase.

"Everybody is struggling with money. Times are tough because of COVID, and I think they should be doing things to lower taxes before anything and help put money in Americans' pockets," said Mike G. of Burlington County.

How does New Jersey's gasoline tax rate compare to other states?

California's gasoline tax rate ranks number 1 in the nation. Pennsylvania comes in number 2 and now New Jersey shot up to number 3, with its rate at 50.7 cents a gallon. Delaware is way down on the list at number 40.

"Several years ago, New Jersey had one of the cheapest gas taxes in the nation. That's no longer the case," stated Tracy Noble of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The increase stems from a 2016 law that requires the tax rate to be adjusted each October, if necessary, to make sure there's enough cash for New Jersey's Transportation Trust Fund.

If collections don't meet the needed level, the tax is adjusted.

New Jersey Gas Tax 2020

When quarantine hit, New Jersey's gas consumption dropped. This summer we learned the tax would be adjusted in October.

RELATED: Gas prices drop across Delaware Valley as demand decreases amid pandemic

Drivers are not happy.

"I have to go back and forth to work quite a bit, and actually it's going to put a strain on my wallet," explained one driver from Lindenwold. "I guess I have to pack half a lunch now. Smaller sandwiches and fewer chips."

For perspective, in 2018 the tax increased by about 10 percent, and last year the rate stayed flat.