The gas tax will remain unchanged in October – not going up nor down, one year after a nearly 23-cent increase that allows annual adjustments.

The hike in the gas tax was written in a way that guarantees the state a certain level of revenues – nearly $1.16 billion over a full fiscal year, though $694 million for fiscal 2017 because the hike took effect Nov. 1, four months into the budget year.

If less gas is sold in New Jersey, the tax would be increased. If more gas is sold, the tax would be cut.

Neither is happening next month, however. The state Division of Taxation posted a notice about the unchanged petroleum products gross receipts tax rate late Monday.

It didn’t explain the math behind the decision, but that’s an indication that the hike in the tax didn’t alter the patterns of where drivers buy gas, in particular out-of-state drivers who pass through the corridor state.

The average price of a gallon of gas in New Jersey is currently $2.73, according to AAA. That is 8 cents cheaper than in New York, and 22 cents cheaper than in New York City, and 14 cents cheaper than in Pennsylvania. However, it is 16 cents higher than the average price in Delaware.


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Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5 and the editor of New Jersey: Decoded. Follow @NJDecoded on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com