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January 26. 2014 9:55PM

Pain at the gas pump eases slightly in New Hampshire

Gasoline prices in New Hampshire have been quietly falling since the start of 2014, and are now more than a dime per gallon cheaper than they were a year ago, according to a price-monitoring group.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the state on Sunday was $3.326 per gallon. That’s down from an average price found by gasbuddy.com a year ago of $3.43.

Gasbuddy calculates prices based on self-reporting by some retailers and information from members who report posted gas prices.

Gas prices have fallen by 3 cents per gallon in the past week, and about 7 1/2 cents per gallon since Christmas.

The retail price drop comes during a period of fluctuating crude oil prices. The price of a barrel of crude fell from close to $99 per barrel as the new year began to $92 per barrel at mid-month.

Prices reported at gas stations around the state on Sunday ranged from a low of $3.09 at a Concord membership warehouse store to $3.78 at a general store in Temple.

Gas prices are lower in New Hampshire than in the adjoining New England states, all of which have higher fuel taxes.

New Hampshire’s price advantage, however, represents more than just the difference in fuel taxes paid at the pump.

Granite State gas stations collect an 18 cents per gallon fuel tax, plus an additional 1.63 cent per-gallon fee for anti-pollution and spill cleanup efforts.In Massachusetts, motorists are taxed 6.87 cents more per gallon than in New Hampshire, but the price at the pump in the Bay State is $3.42. In Maine, where gas taxes are 10.38 cents per gallon higher than in New Hampshire, the actual pump price averages 14.6 cents more, according to the survey.

In Vermont, taxes are 12.34 cents more on every gallon than New Hampshire. Vermont has the highest average gas prices in northern New England, according to the survey, with an average price of $3.473 per gallon.

Highest gas taxes in the six-state region are paid in Connecticut, where the 49.3 cents per gallon gas tax is the highest in the nation. During the day Sunday, average reported prices in Connecticut were second only to Hawaii as the highest among the 50 states.

wsmith@unionleader.com


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