Delaware Public Media

New Jersey gas hike pays off for First State

Sep 28, 2018

AAA data shows New Jersey’s 2016 gas hike may be leading drivers to buy more gas in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Data from the Oil Price Information Service indicates drivers have been purchasing about 17.7 million fewer gallons of gas each month in New Jersey since the state raised its tax just under two years ago.

Meanwhile, Delaware sold more than 208,000 gallons more per month in 2017 and Pennsylvania sold almost 7.5 million more.

AAA spokesman Ken Grant says people who live near state borders could be making a point to buy in states where gas is cheaper.

“Especially when you move closer to a border area in Delaware. Whether that’s with New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Maryland, you’re looking at an area where Delaware’s gas is consistently cheaper than those other states because of our lower gas tax,” said Grant.

Grant notes the difference translated into about $500,000 more in gas tax revenue to Delaware. He says he thinks some people are making the conscious decision to gas up in Delaware.

“People will not go too far out or their way, but if they have an option to save a few pennies per gallon that does add up over time so I think people will look for those benefits as long as Delaware remains cheaper than the surrounding states,” he said.

First State gas prices are currently fluctuating between 10 and 15 cents less than those in New Jersey.