As of October 1, 2023, New Jersey's gas tax went up by 0.9 cents per gallon. This is thanks to a New Jersey law passed back in 2016 by then-Governor Chris Christie.

Now, I know I'm probably a minority voice here regarding this topic, but I don't see this as an increase we should get all up in arms over. At least, not for this go around.

With that said, am I actually happy to see this hike in the tax? And do I even want this in the first place? The short answer to both of those questions is no.

In fact, like most in New Jersey, I was strongly against the massive gas tax increase that took effect in 2016. At the time, New Jersey saw an enormous jump of more than 26 cents per gallon which we all negatively felt at the pump.


This time around, however, we're barely even going to notice it. And that's one of the reasons I say that far too many people are making way too big of a deal over it.

Think about it for a second. The gas tax is going up 0.9 cents per gallon. That means to fill a 40-gallon tank, your cost will go up 36 cents.

That's barely anything, and more likely than not, you won't feel this pinch at the pump at all. That would've been a different story, however, had the increase been larger.

Gas prices at the pump
Karimala GettyImages

Let's say instead of 0.9 cents per gallon, the increase was 9 cents. To fill that same 40-gallon tank would've then been $3.60 more overall.

That increase can have more of a sizable impact in the long run when compared to what we got. But that's not the only reason why we shouldn't get too insanely upset over the 0.9-cent increase.

All you need to do is look back over the years ever since the 2016 law was enacted. Since 2021, for example, our gas tax went down not once, but twice.


According to, New Jersey's gas tax dropped by 1 cent a year ago in October 2022 and went down 8.3 cents a year before that in October 2023.

Unfortunately, the gas tax didn't go down this year, but it also didn't go up by that much. The largest gas hike under this law happened in October 2020 when we saw the price jump by 9.3 cents per gallon.

That, of course, was largely due to the pandemic, with a big drop in the gas tax occurring the following year when restrictions were lifting and people were traveling once again. So yes, it could be worse.

Eric Scott breaks down the details of the latest gas tax hike, including what is today and what it was prior to 2016. Are any of these changes something to be excited about? Of course not.

Hand with gas pump and money
Thinkstock Images

And no, it also doesn't excuse the fact that we even have this gas tax law in the first place. It was very unpopular when introduced, and it's still unpopular now.

With that said, at least we don't have the highest gas prices in the country. At the moment, that title goes to the unfortunate drivers in California.

As of October 1, 2023, the average gas price there was around $6.03 per gallon for regular. Can you say, ouch?

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The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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