The average price for a gallon of in Maryland has dropped below the national average.
After months of soaring prices in everything from rents to food, and everything else under the sun, Marylanders may finally feel some minor relief. As of today, August 11th, 2022, the average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.99. Here in the great state of Maryland, the average cost per gallon is… $3.967. While the savings compared to the national average is minuscule, this represents progress as for much of 2022 gas prices averaged well above $4.00.
Why it matters?
Gas prices in Maryland are important for two reasons; tourism and infrastructure. The summer months are a boom time for Maryland’s economy as tourists flock to the state’s many destinations. The state’s beaches and waterfront destinations, agritourism industry, and proximity to the nation’s capital all serve to attract millions of tourists a year. Higher gas prices equate to less mobility and less disposable income to spend in the local economy.
But tourism spending is not the only thing impacted by gas prices. Long-time readers of Conduit Street will remember that most of a county’s transportation funding comes from Highway User Revenue (HURs). HURs are comprised of a number of different revenue sources, but the share of the state’s gas tax is by far the largest portion of those funds. It is still somewhat unclear how much of an impact current fluctuating prices will have on HURs; for example, will cheaper gas encourage drivers to fill up more often and generate additional revenue, or will cheaper gas mean less revenue is generated because drivers’ demand for gas has somewhat stabilized. Inflation has taken a big bite out of many household budgets and is certainly being felt by counties as well.