SEVERN, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — As it stands, gasoline in the District costs about 10 cents more than the national average. Gas in Maryland and Virginia, meanwhile, costs about 15 and 26 cents less than the national average, respectively.
But AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend says that is all going to change soon.
In May, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the state’s first gas excise tax increase in 20 years into law. The legislation levies a sales tax on gasoline on top of the state’s 23.5-cents per gallon tax. It will take effect July 1, and add about 4 cents to a gallon of gas. The price will jump another 8 cents by July 2015. The tax could rise another 8 cents by July 2016.
Virginia, meanwhile, is moving away from excise tax on the local level and switching to wholesale tax model. Townsend says that will cause the price of gas in the Old Dominion State to drop between 5 and 10 cents per gallon.
The District is also likely to transition to a wholesale gas model but, in the nation’s capital, fuel costs will go up. Probably only by 1 or 2 cents though, according to Townsend.
“For all intents and purposes, Virginia may become one of the cheapest places in the nation to buy gas, and over the long haul, Maryland will become one of the most expensive places in the entire nation to buy gasoline… in the price range of New York or California,” he said.
Part of the reason jurisdictions are changing their tax models is because fuel efficient cars have decreased the amount of money that taxes on gasoline are bringing in for transportation projects, Townsend added.