Gas price increase in N.J. not stopping holiday travelers

Holiday travelers may decide to wait for a fill-up until they reach New Jersey. Even with the 23-cent tax increase

Holiday travelers may decide to wait for a fill-up until they reach New Jersey. Even with the 23-cent tax increase

The gas tax hike that took effect in New Jersey at the beginning of the month is not expected to have much impact on holiday travel plans.

This could be the busiest Thanksgiving weekend ever on the roads, said Tom Kloza, the global head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, New Jersey.

Holiday travelers may decide to wait for a fill-up until they get in the Garden State, he said, because even with the 23-cent tax increase, gas is about 15 cents a gallon cheaper than in New York or Pennsylvania.

“Probably people will stop in New Jersey when they plan their trips, but they don’t have the same sense of urgency when they travel on the I-95 corridor because we’re not 30 and 35 cents cheaper than some of the other East Coast states,” Kloza said.

He said the New Year will start with low gas prices.

“We could see New Jersey posting $1.99 or so from some of the folks like Costco that sell at very aggressive numbers, and then I think we’ll go up probably about 20 or 30 cents higher than we did last year which puts us in the neighborhood of $2.40, $2.50, $2.60 at worst.” he said.

Lower prices for jet fuel could have an impact on air travel.

“That will show up in some fares,” he said. “If you look at off-season fares right now, they’re pretty cheap. In general, cheap energy should be a little bit of a catalyst for the economy, at least the consumer portion.”

Some home heating oil prices at the start of the cold-weather season are about the same as last year, averaging about $2.50 a gallon.

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