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Washington Gas Tax: Prices Rise 7 Cents Per Gallon

Gas Pumps

It may not be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, but the state of Washington’s implementation of a 7 cent gas tax yesterday may have drivers a little frustrated if prices rise.

According to The Oregonian, the tax is part of a transportation revenue package that will be rolled out progressively over the next 16 years and is estimated to cost $16 billion.

The Oregonian reported that the tax hike is the first part of two-phase tax increase, and that the next tax hike of 4.9 cents per gallon is slated to launch sometime next summer.

While consumers may be worried that the bumped-up tax will bring bumped-up prices at the pump, The Oregonian reminded readers that there may be a buffer between yesterday’s tax increase and prices at the pump because the taxes were applied to “fuel wholesalers.”

Because the gas tax is paid by fuel wholesalers … it’s uncertain how much of an increase drivers will see in the coming days and weeks, especially since gas prices fluctuate regularly.

Seattle news station KIRO spoke with a local gas station owner to find out exactly what will happen to the prices at the pump.

KIRO quoted the gas station owner as saying that the increase may be a “penny or two” but not the “full 7 cents.”

The news station spoke with another gas station owner who was less optimistic and was quoted as saying that because he’s a small operator, he has to pass the 7-cent tax along to his customers.

The Oregonian noted that the tax hike puts Washington in dubious standing, making it the state with the second highest gas tax in the United States.

Pennsylvania has the highest gas tax rates in the nation, the story said, quoting numbers generated by the American Petroleum Institute.

While the state is second in taxes, the story noted, it is fifth in the per gallon price of gasoline.

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