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One year ago today, Jersey drivers were preparing a fright — the end of cheap gas as we knew it, as motorists filled up one last time on the eve of a 23 cent increase in the gas tax.

One year ago today, Jersey drivers were preparing a fright — the end of cheap gas as we knew it, as motorists filled up one last time on the eve of a 23 cent increase in the state gas tax.

The state that was forever known for cheap gas changed overnight to the eighth-highest gas tax in the nation at 37 cents-per-gallon.

A year ago Tuesday, the average price for regular in New Jersey was $2.02 per-gallon and the national average was $2.20, according to Gas Buddy.com. After the tax hike, the average price of regular in the state rose to $2.28 per-gallon for regular, which was higher than the national average price of $2.22 last November.

On Tuesday, the state average for regular was $2.48, just one cent higher than the national average, according to GasBuddy.com.

The trend to mirror the national average wasn’t an anomaly. A week earlier, the state average was $2.43 and the national average was $2.45. One month ago, on Sept. 25, New Jersey’s price was $2.57 compared to the national average of $2.54.

Drivers had an ally helping them pay part of the 23 cent increase in retailers and oil companies that absorbed some of the cost, experts said.

“Immediately after the tax was passed, the price went up, but not to the full extent of the increase,” said Siamack Shojai, dean of William Paterson University’s Cotsakos College of Business. “Four to five cents (of the tax increase) was absorbed by the industry.”

Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Declining crude oil prices insulated consumers from paying an even steeper increase, Shojai said.

Crude oil prices spent a good part of 2017 seesawing, to the point where gas prices in the state flirted with sub-$2 a gallon prices at a handful of stations in June. Price spikes in late summer were blamed on Hurricane Harvey temporarily closing Gulf Coast refineries.

Jersey consumers also were protected by the competitive retail gas market here, said Tom Kloza, Oil Price Information Service global head of energy analysis.

“There is less margin for retailers,” he said. “On the …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News

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We held a funeral for cheap gas a year ago today. How much have prices changed?

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