When you buy gasoline, as you know, you're paying for more than the gasoline itself. Twice a year, the government tracks how much people in each state are paying in tax — and the highest taxes may not be where you'd think.

Federal and state taxes per state

The data, from the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, shows a spread of per-gallon federal and state taxes ranging from 38 cents to eight cents. The five highest- and lowest-taxed states are below. The interactive map below shows every state's taxes, with darker colors indicating higher taxes. In addition, every gallon of gas includes an 18.4 cent federal tax. Prices are in dollars.

Highest state taxes

  • 1. California, 0.3816
  • 2. North Carolina, 0.3775
  • 3. Washington, 0.3762
  • 4. West Virginia, 0.347
  • 5. Rhode Island, 0.3312

Lowest

  • 46. South Carolina, 0.1675
  • 47. Wyoming, 0.14
  • 48. New Jersey, 0.1055
  • 49. Alaska, 0.08
  • 50. Georgia, 0.08


Data from the Energy Information Administration.

Current average price per gallon

GasBuddy.com tracks average state gas prices on a day-to-day basis. Here are the prices as of this morning, which provides a handy reference for the next two maps. Prices are in dollars.

Most expensive

  • 1. Hawaii, 4.373
  • 2. Illinois, 4.007
  • 3. Alaska, 3.922
  • 4. California, 3.866
  • 5. Indiana, 3.855

Least

  • 46. Mississippi, 3.266
  • 47. Louisiana, 3.261
  • 48. Alabama, 3.256
  • 49. Tennessee, 3.25
  • 50. South Carolina, 3.19


Data from GasBuddy.com.

Price, excluding taxes

Now, the interesting data. Here's how much each state pays per gallon of gas minus state and federal taxes. Unsurprisingly — given its location — Hawaii pays the most.

Highest cost

  • 1. Hawaii, 3.994
  • 2. Alaska, 3.658
  • 3. Illinois, 3.622
  • 4. Indiana, 3.481
  • 5. Michigan, 3.4472

Lowest

  • 46. Arkansas, 2.877
  • 47. Louisiana, 2.877
  • 48. North Carolina, 2.8595
  • 49. Tennessee, 2.852
  • 50. South Carolina, 2.8385

Percentage of cost that is taxes

But perhaps more revealing is the percent of each gallon of gas which each state pays in taxes. Every state pays at least 6.7 percent in taxes — but North Carolina pays two-and-a-half times that. That's in part because the state tax rose four cents at the beginning of the year.

Highest percentage in taxes

  • 1. North Carolina, 16.41%
  • 2. Washington, 15.60%
  • 3. Pennsylvania, 14.74%
  • 4. California, 14.63%
  • 5. Rhode Island, 14.62%

Lowest

  • 46. Illinois, 9.61%
  • 47. New Jersey, 8.82%
  • 48. Hawaii, 8.67%
  • 49. Georgia, 7.72%
  • 50. Alaska, 6.73%