Ms. Long, a graduate student who has been holding down three jobs trying to cover her expenses, was out to beat a deadline that haunted drivers in and around New Jersey on Halloween: At midnight, the state’s gasoline tax would jump by 23 cents per gallon, to 37.5 cents.
“I’m going to need a new car because of this, maybe a Prius,” said Ms. Long, 24, who lives in Suffern, N.Y., as she handed the attendant three $1 bills — the cost of 1.485 gallons of regular. “I’d like to keep the ’Stang, but I can’t be cool forever.”
Recent Mustangs get 15mpg+. So that's an extra 46 cents per day if you have a 30 mile round trip commute. Do that 20 days per month/ 240 days per year and that's $9.20/month or $110.40/year. That's not nothing, and any additional expenses for people on living on the margin matter. Again, regressive taxes are regressive! But the cost of gas looms much larger in the consciousness than the cost of most other things.