Washington's gas tax (formally known as a fuel excise tax) increased today by a penny-and-a-half to 37.5 cents a gallon. The hike is the last step of a 9.5 cent increase approved by the Legislature in 2005 to help fund nearly 300 transportation projects.
The Attorney General's year-long gas price investigation found that recent historic highs are the result of record crude oil price, increasing worldwide demand for oil and an inability for regional refineries to meet local supply demands. Our Antitrust continuously monitors the market and is expected to publish an updated quarterly report this month.
As a reminder, you can spend less at the pump by:
- Driving more efficiently and reducing excess weight. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 30 cents per gallon for gas. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.
- Maintaining your car. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.
- Choosing a more fuel-efficient vehicle. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,020 per year (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $4.08). That's $5,100 extra in fuel costs over five years!
And, of course, combining trips, carpooling or taking the bus can save bucks and cut down on time spent sitting in traffic.