Pay less at the pump: New Jersey gas tax drops by 8 cents per gallon

The decrease is the result of a 2016 law, and marks the first cut since the law went into effect.
TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey's gas tax just went down, though you may not see the change at the pump right away.

As people fill their tanks in New Jersey, drivers say it's a constant struggle to save money.

"I feel like I have to fill up so often that I just have to grin and bear it," said Gabrielle Ferrigno of Hamilton, N.J.

But starting October 1, New Jersey's state gas tax is going down about 8 cents per gallon.

"I think it's awesome," said Louis King of Columbus, N.J.

As of Friday, New Jersey's gas tax is about 42 and a half cents per gallon, down from almost 51 cents per gallon.

Compare that to Pennsylvania's current gas tax of 58 cents per gallon - one of the highest in the nation - and Delaware's, which is 23 cents per gallon.

The state's gas tax helps to pay for highway maintenance and infrastructure projects.

In New Jersey it's going down because fuel consumption is up, falling right in line with projections made last year.

This drop almost cancels out the 9 cent tax increase made in 2020, due to lower fuel consumption during the pandemic.

The adjustments are due to a 2016 state law that requires state funding to support bridge and road infrastructure at $2 billion annually for eight years, and calls for yearly adjustments to the fuel tax to meet that amount.

AAA spokesperson Tracy Noble says don't be surprised if you don't notice an 8 cent change all at once.

"The price at the pump is what the gas station owners have already paid for in their tanks. So we will see gradual decreases," said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson Tracy Noble.

She also says there are other factors that could drive gas prices down even more right now.

"This decrease comes at a time of year when we see the switch over to winter blend fuels - which are cheaper - and we're seeing the refineries in the gulf recover from those hurricanes," said Noble.

While every penny counts, drivers know what goes down will most likely go back up.

"I'm happy about that as long as it lasts. But then they'll change it," said Joanne Kirby of Columbus, N.J. "I try not to get too excited."
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