STATEWIDE–The state of Indiana raising Indiana’s gas tax in July is “surprising,” according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
“It’s certainly surprising that as gas prices continue to surge that politicians continue to let these increases hit motorists hard. Indiana is no longer the place to go when filling your tank up. It now has one of the higher gas taxes in the region,” said DeHaan.
Indiana’s gasoline use tax will increase to 29.1 cents starting July 1, the Indiana Department of State Revenue announced Monday. That’s the highest Indiana’s gasoline use tax has been since the state began using a specific formula to determine the rate in 2014. The 5.1-cent increase also is the largest one-month jump since 1994.
Even with this, DeHaan believes Indiana could avoid a price increase this week.
“There’s a potential that either late this week or early next week, we could see those prices making their next cycle and jump up. I would probably just wait a little bit. I’d watch the price of oil. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to hedge your bets and fill up Friday morning, otherwise, I would expect a price increase early next week,” said DeHaan.
The biggest reason for high gas prices over the last several months is that oil refinery production cannot keep up with demand. It is also a part of the year when people love to travel on summer vacations.
“Last week, gasoline demand was at its highest level of the year, according to GasBuddy data. It rose nearly 7%. I don’t see it easing until probably early August. Usually, gas demand starts to step up as we get into the prime of summer. Usually, we’ll peak at some point in late July. I would expect that to be the case again this year,” said DeHaan.
As of Tuesday morning, GasBuddy says the statewide average is $5.12 per gallon. The average is $5.11 in Indianapolis, $5.12 in Fort Wayne, and $4.92 in Evansville.
LISTEN: Full interview with Patrick DeHaan