Jersey Drivers Don’t Pump Gas

Morris County Cost of Living Series

Transportation costs factor heavily into the Cost of Living (COLI). So, we are tracking gasoline prices quarterly and entering them into our COLI index.  (Along with the cost of balancing a set of tires.)  Imagining that NJ has high gasoline pricing?  Not so, even though we have full-service filling stations.

See the map below, from the American Automobile Association (AAA) for a snapshot-in-time of gasoline prices across the United States.  It is updated daily.

Gasoline prices Feb 2, 2019

Our neighbors, New York and Connecticut, generally have higher priced gasoline.  Pennsylvania’s is in the same price range as New Jersey.

West Coast states, including Oregon, have both higher prices and (often) long commutes.  We can distinguish ourselves to attract talent.

No surprise that petroleum refining states have the cheapest gasoline.  (Alaska produces crude but does not refine it.)

By the way, New Jersey does not have a vehicle property tax.

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Since 1940, self-service gas was prohibited in New Jersey. Gas station owners lobbied the legislature siting a potential loss of jobs and safety concerns.  At the time, major oil and gas corporations had headquarters in NJ.

The state of Oregon followed suit in 1951. Their list of  justifications included the risk of crime when customers left their vehicles to pump gas, the gas’ flammability, jobs that would be created if customers required a mini-service.

Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states mandating attendants, not motorists pump gas.

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C2ER’s Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile nationally.