Dipping prices could mean gas tax hike won’t faze N.J. drivers

Shafigul Azim pumps gas for a motorist at a BP gas station in Hoboken

Shafigul Azim pumps gas for a motorist at a BP gas station in Hoboken

New Jersey’s Senate Budget Committee is expected to act Friday on the latest plan to raise the state gas tax 23 cents a gallon to replenish the Transportation Trust Fund.

A glut of gasoline has pushed down the price in recent weeks and he doesn’t believe a higher tax would curb demand, according to Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, New Jersey.

“If the state, indeed, does levy the additional tax, people will notice it, but they’re still going to be paying less than they paid since 2004,” he said. “We’re about to see prices drop, let’s say without any legislative action, probably by another 10 or 15 cents.”

Kloza said most of that price drop will come after Labor Day.

“In New Jersey, we’re actually looking at the capability of, without additional taxes, something in the $1.75 range. It probably won’t come in August,” he said. “It will come in September and October when people drive less and when there’s a lot of additional hydrocarbons that can make for a cheaper gasoline blend.”

The gas tax hike is part of a trust fund package of legislation proposed by Democrats to pay for road and bridge repairs, maintenance and transportation projects. It also calls for tax reductions for retirees and the working poor.

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