TRENTON – If you need gas for your car but want to save a buck or two, you might want to wait for Friday – when New Jersey’s gas tax goes down by 8.3 cents a gallon.
State officials adjust the gas tax each year on Oct. 1 under a 2016 law that sets an annual revenue goal of around $2 billion. Depending on collections over the past year and expectations for the year ahead, the tax can increase, stay level or decrease.
This is the first cut since the law went into effect. State treasury officials credited the faster-than-expected recovery from the pandemic in reversing most of the 9.3-cent per gallon hike imposed a year ago.
Part of the rationale for the annual adjustments to the tax rate was to keep increases small and predictable. But the tax has been on a yo-yo ever since the initial 22.6-cent increase in 2016 – level in 2017, up in 2018, level in 2019, up in 2020, now going down.
The state’s gas tax starting Oct. 1 will be 42.4 cents a gallon, down from 50.7 cents. The tax on diesel fuel is 7 cents higher per gallon, or 49.4 cents.
New Jersey will move from having the nation’s fourth-highest gas tax to its 11th highest, according to data from the Tax Foundation.
The gas tax is being reduced by about 16%. AAA says the average gas price in New Jersey currently for a gallon of regular unleaded is about $3.23, so the tax change may amount to an overall reduction per gallon of about 2.5%.