Carl Davis, research director at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said efforts to raise state taxes to pay for roads and bridges exploded this year. In 2013 and 2014, four states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wyoming) increased their gas taxes, while Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island indexed the gas tax to either inflation or fuel prices. Virginia approved a complicated formula that will allow the tax rate to rise with gas prices in future years.
“A lot of states realized they couldn’t put off this issue any longer,” Davis said. “They saw they couldn’t trust the federal government to raise the gas tax and they had to do something on their own.”