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Utah raises its gasoline tax. Here’s what it means for drivers

Will add 3 cents for every 10 gallons purchased.

(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) Drivers line up for gas at Costco in Salt Lake City on Dec. 22, 2017. Utah has raised it gasoline taxes slightly for 2021, up by 3 cents for every 10 gallons.

Utah raised its gasoline tax slightly as the new year hit — but it will only increase by 3 cents for every 10 gallons at the pump.

That also would amount to just $1.62 for the year for an average car that gets about 25 miles per gallon and drives a typical 13,500 miles in the year — using 540 gallons. Of course, the tax amount paid varies by the gas economy of a vehicle and how much it is driven.

Every year, the Utah State Tax Commission recalculates gasoline tax for the coming year by charging 16.5% of the average motor fuel price charged by refineries to retailers at the rack.

For 2021, that will increase the state tax on gasoline and diesel from 31.1 cents per gallon to 31.4 cents.

Utah in 2020 ranked No. 24 among the states for its gasoline tax, almost exactly in the middle of the states, according to the Tax Foundation. The latest small increase is not enough to pass the No. 23 state, Georgia, which had a tax of 32.2 cents per gallon.

Last year, California had the nation’s highest state gasoline tax at 62.47 cents a gallon. Alaska had the lowest at 13.77 cents a gallon.

Utah gasoline taxes go to help fund maintenance and construction of state and local roads.

The Utah tax is beyond a federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents a gallon. So, the total federal and state gasoline tax charged in Utah is now 49.8 cents per gallon.

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