NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “State Gas Taxes”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at state gas taxes. Mike, anyone who travels regularly to states outside of North Carolina realizes our state has relatively high state gas taxes.   What is North Carolina’s latest ranking on state gas taxes, and why are they so high?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Latest numbers show NC has the 10th highest rate of gas taxes among the states
  2. Further, we are much higher than our surrounding states: Virginia is 38th, SC 49th, Tennessee 41st, and Georgia 10th
  3. Always dangerous to compare just one tax – what usually is the case is a state may have a high tax, but will compensate with other lower taxes
  4. This is the case for NC – we do have high gas taxes, but we have relatively low property taxes
  5. Many states keep gas taxes low by using some of property taxes to fund roads and transportation projects; or they may keep gas taxes low by using general sales taxes for roads
  6. Some say NC’s system more directly links payment of roads to the users of roads
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service