CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Motorists will pay an additional penny for a gallon of gasoline in West Virginia, beginning Wednesday.
The 1-cent increase to 54.1 cents per gallon is one of several tax changes that go into effect at the start of the new year, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.
The gas tax increase is due to the state Tax Department's annual recalculation of the average wholesale gas price. The variable tax is one of the gas tax's three components. The tax also includes a flat state tax of 20.5 cents per gallon and a flat federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon.
Tax officials determined in November that the new state average wholesale gas price was $3.042 a gallon, compared to the 2013 rate of $2.831 a gallon.
"I'd like for the gas tax to be down, but we also need money for highways,'' Jan Vineyard, president of the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, told the newspaper. "This is the most reasonable manner to go in.''
Vineyard said the variable tax rate helps state road funding keep pace with inflation.
The method for calculating tax rates for alternative fuels, such as natural gas and propane, also is changing.
A bill passed this year by the Legislature requires the Tax Department to calculate tax rates for these alternative fuels by their gasoline gallon equivalent measurements. The variable rates will be 30.4 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of compressed natural gas, 2.5 cents per gallon of liquefied natural gas and 6.2 cents per gallon of propane.