My take: Motorists not seeing savings from state’s low gas tax


Good evening,

We end the week on a less than happy note.

A while back, one of our readers suggested that one way to see whether Delaware’s low gas tax is passed on to motorists is to subtract the price at the pump from the state gas tax.

StateGas price State taxNet gas price
New Jersey$4.3742¢$3.95
From AAA

As of today, Delaware motorists are paying a net price of $4.11 a gallon, compared to $3.97 in Maryland and $3.95 in New Jersey, two states with a substantially higher gas tax than Delaware.

Reasons for the disparity have remained unclear. AAA does not dive into the ins and outs of gas pricing here or elsewhere, and the chain stores don’t talk about such things.

Factors could range from a shift to summer-blend fuels to a tight supply situation on the East Coast, an area that gets a lot of imported oil, some from Russia.

After all, refining capacity in the region has dropped sharply in recent years. The region’s largest refinery in Philadelphia was shut down a few years ago after a fire and explosion.

Commodities markets come with puzzling variations in prices as traders factor in things like the Ukraine war dragging on for months.

Still, Delaware’s gas price remains a puzzle when compared to what motorists pay in neighboring states.

Anyone with a possible explanation is welcome to respond. Newsletter readers can simply hit reply and type away. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.