Landscape professionals in several states will begin paying more for gasoline today, as a flurry of tax legislation enacted earlier this year goes into effect. Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Vermont are all experiencing some bump in the state gas taxes collected.
Idaho’s increase is the highest, at 7 cents per gallon, with Georgia close behind at 6.7 cents per gallon. Both of those increases result from legislation passed earlier this year. Maryland (1.8 cents) and Rhode Island (1 cent) are seeing more modest increases as a result of previous policy changes. In Nebraska (0.5 cents) and Vermont (0.35 cents), variable-rate gas tax policies are yielding negligible increases on July 1.
Truckers and other drivers are as unhappy about increases coming at this time of year as landscaping companies, which are now in the heart of lawn-maintenance season. “While some drivers may view this as an unwelcome development during the busy summer travel season,” said Carl Davis, research director for the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “the reality is that most of these ‘increases’ are simply playing catch-up with inflation after years (or even decades) without an update to the gas tax rate.”
In California, where state laws tie motor fuel taxes to fuel prices, the gasoline tax is dropping 6 cents per gallon while diesel will see a 2-cent per gallon tax increase. In Connecticut, a similar law is lowering the tax on diesel by 4.2 cents per gallon.