Gas Prices Dip Before Tax Hike, Will Likely Trend Higher than Natl. Average
With a higher fuel tax now in effect, petroleum analysts say future gas prices in Wyoming will likely be higher than average prices nationally.
Wyoming enacted a statewide fuel tax increase from 14 cents per gallon to 24 cents per gallon on Monday.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, says the tax hike will bring Wyoming's fuel tax rate in line with several surrounding states.
“Before the increase, Wyoming was right about smack-dab in the middle for gasoline prices – probably the 30th-cheapest in the nation,” DeHaan said. “This will probably keep Wyoming in the slightly-higher-than-national-average range, at least for the time being.”
Fuel tax rates in surrounding states range from as low as 22 cents per gallon in Colorado to as high as 27.75 cents per gallon in Montana.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive approximately two-thirds of the new fuel tax revenues. WYDOT estimates that it will receive an additional $3.9 million from the increased fuel tax this year and $47 million next year.
DeHaan says Wyoming gas prices were trending downward prior to Monday. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded dipped nearly six cents last week to $3.53.
“Last week, prices went down a little bit,” DeHaan said. “This week, we’ll probably see gas prices go up thanks to that gas tax change.”
Gas prices on Monday were as low as $3.19 in Casper, $3.35 in Cheyenne and $3.32 in Laramie. The national average is hovering near $3.50.