NEW YORK —
Gasoline taxes account for the biggest difference in pump prices for U.S. drivers. Local, state and federal taxes vary from nearly 70 cents per gallon in New York, California and Hawaii to half that in Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia, according to the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's chief lobbying group.
Adil Mehta of Chatsworth, Calif., has seen gasoline fall a few cents in the past several days to $3.89, but he is afraid it will reverse course when higher state taxes take effect. The average price in California is already the highest in the Lower 48 states, at $3.99 per gallon.
Mehta is not taking any trips with his wife and child for the July Fourth holiday, and he will probably stay close to home the rest of the summer.
"At $3 or even $3.50 I would not complain too much," he said. "Anything higher than that I'm always thinking twice about taking the trip. In the past, if I wanted to go somewhere, I wouldn't think about it."