Va. may become 4th cheapest state for gas

WASHINGTON – Virginia may soon be among the top five cheapest states for gas, and Maryland residents may be crossing state lines to find better prices.

Virginia’s new transportation plan, which takes effect July 1, will lower gas prices by about 6 cents per gallon over the second half of 2013, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The plan passed during the final days of the Virginia General Assembly’s 2013 session was signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell in May. When it takes effect, Virginia’s retail gas tax will be replaced by a wholesale gas tax and a levy on diesel fuel. The two new taxes combined are about 6 cents lower than the original tax.

In a news release, AAA Mid-Atlantic says the average price for a gallon of gas in Virginia is currently $3.40. Under the new transportation plan, prices would drop to an average of $3.34 a gallon, making Virginia the fourth cheapest state for gas behind Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

In contrast, Maryland’s new motor fuel tax laws that will go into effect in about two weeks will raise gas prices by 3.5 cents per gallon. AAA Mid-Atlantic says this increase will be coupled with a rising excise tax on gas, which will jump from 23.5 cents to 44.6 cents per gallon in 2018, making Maryland one of the most expensive places in the country to buy gas.

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