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Gas Taxes, Gas Prices, and Fuel Economy

Kim Rueben, Yuri Shadunsky

Published: April 24, 2012
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Gas prices have increased substantially since the beginning of this year, continuing their upward trend since 1990. American drivers are pushing the federal and state governments to implement policies to lower gas prices. But gasoline taxes have not contributed to the increase in gas prices. Rather than bringing pump prices down, lowering gasoline taxes or having gas tax holidays will mostly shift gasoline purchases across state lines or encourage people to fuel up during the gas tax holidays. Such proposals will siphon away revenues from already cash-strapped states and do little to help consumers and the economy.