With gas prices expected to top $4 a gallon this summer, everyone from truckers to commuters are both unhappy and concerned. Some, however, are less concerned than others. In New Jersey, for instance, it's still possible to find stations selling gas for less than $3. In fact, New Jersey has some of the cheapest gasoline in the nation, according to AAA. So why is gas in New Jersey, of all places, almost a dollar cheaper than the nationwide average? Turns out there are several reasons (and no, one of them isn't that John McCain has been giving away gasoline).
Most importantly, "New Jersey has the nation’s third-lowest gasoline tax, at 14.5 cents a gallon, and it hasn’t gone up in almost two decades." And while Governor Jon Corzine has proposed raising both tolls and gas taxes, New Jersey residents have made it eminently clear they would support no such thing. But that's not the only thing behind the lower gas prices.Even though New Jersey is far removed from Texas or Alaska--where oil is drilled--the state does have a lot of refineries and pipelines. Indeed, New Jersey is "the fourth largest oil-producing state in the nation, according to the New Jersey Petroleum Council." This lowers the cost of transporting the gas from the refiner to the pump. Yet another reason for the low cost is that "many of the state’s 4,000 stations are independently owned and drive up competition, which drops prices." Finally, web sites such as newjerseygasprices.com allow drivers to find the gas stations with the lowest prices on any given day.
Still, it's hard to get away from the importance of that low gasoline tax. Only the gasoline taxes in Wyoming and Alaska are lower...
Via: ::NY Times