SUNNYSIDE Starting today, it’ll cost nearly a nickel more per gallon for gas.
That’s because a 4.9 cent gas tax kicks in statewide. It’s part of an 11.9 cent increase the legislature approved in 2015.
Last August taxes increased by 7 cents per gallon as part of the legislation intended to generate $16 billion for transportation projects.
Today’s hike brings the state’s total gas tax to 49.4 cents per gallon, second only to Pennsylvania at 50.3 cents.
Taxes may be going up, but overall gas prices are trending down.
Gasbuddy.com reports that prices for this Independence Day weekend are the cheapest since 2005.
The least expensive regular unleaded gas locally, the website reports, is $2.42 per gallon at Arco, 1850 Waneta Road.
USA Gasoline, 2665 E. Lincoln Ave., and Maverik, 1601 E. Lincoln Ave., both report gas at $2.49.
However, the least expensive gas by far is in Wapato and Toppenish on the Yakama Nation reservation.
In Wapato, Wheeler’s Kountry Korner, 2421 W. Wapato Road, is selling gas at $2.11 per gallon. Wolf Den, 61 W. Wapato Road, sells it for $2.16.
In Toppenish, GasBuddy reports Topp Mart, 907 W. First Ave., is at $2.17. Topp Stop, 321 S. Elm St., and Yakamart, 111 Fort Road, both sell at $2.19.
Elsewhere in the Lower Yakima Valley, the lowest gas prices per city as indicated by GasBuddy include:
Safeway, 608 E. Main St., $2.49.
Cenex, 940 E. Wine Country Road, $2.54.
Chevron, 1005 Wallace Way, $2.59.
Arco, 1221 Bailey Ave., $2.49.
Conoco, 1201 Bailey Ave., $2.59.
Wheeler’s Smoke N Gas, 7453 Sunnyside Mabton Hwy., $2.39.
Texaco, 451 N. Main St., $2.58.
Cenex 1020 Bennett Ave. $2.54.
Shell, 101 Merlot Drive, $2.59.
Local gas prices are less than the state average of $2.64 per gallon, GasBuddy reports.
Declining gas prices as the July 4 holiday approaches is not uncommon.
Over the past 10 years, the average price of gas through the Fourth of July holiday has declined more often than not, GasBuddy reports.
“The U.S. average price of gas was lower on July 5th than it was the previous week seven out of 10 occasions dating back to 2006,” petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski said.
Laskoski is bullish on gas prices for the rest of the year, as well.
“GasBuddy projects the return of a sub-$2 per gallon national average as soon as early November,” he said.