Oklahoma’s fuel tax hike is first in 31 years

Fuel taxes went up in Oklahoma on Sunday for the first time in 31 years to help pay for the teacher pay raise approved by the governor last spring.

The gasoline tax rose 3 cents while the tax for diesel fuel went up 6 cents a gallon, leaving the state’s average at $2.59 a gallon, still one of the lowest averages in the region. The increase will make both rates on gasoline and diesel fuel at 19 cents a gallon and that is still one of the lowest rates in the country.

Oklahoma was one of seven states to raise fuel taxes on Sunday. the others were South Carolina, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Vermont and Iowa. Those states increased their taxes to fund construction projects for roads and bridges.

“The last time the Sooner State raised its gas tax rate, the Berlin Wall was still standing and Congress was debating whether to ban smoking on flights shorter than two hours,” said Carl Davis, research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

While taxes went up in the state, Oklahoma’s average is still lower than gasoline prices in Texas ($2.64); Kansas ($2.65); Missouri ($2.60); Arkansas ($2.58); Colorado ($2.85) and New Mexico ($2.88).

The average in Oklahoma City is $2.57, up 5 cents from a week ago while Tulsa’s average rose 7 cents in the past week to reach an average of $2.57. Lawton continues to have the lowest metro gasoline prices with an average of $2.51, an increase of one cent in the past week.

The cheapest county average is $2.46 in Okmulgee county while the highest average is $2.86 in Ellis county in the northwest.

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