Revenue Secretary David Hoyle announced Tuesday the state motor fuels tax would grow by 3.9 cents per gallon to a record 38.9 cents starting Jan 1. State law directs the tax be recalculated automatically twice a year based on a formula linked to wholesale gas prices. The tax rose by 2.5 cents per gallon in July.
The upcoming tax increase falls in line with estimates made by the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal staff.
The North Carolina House voted last month to cap the tax at 35 cents for six months, but the Senate declined to take up the bill, saying it wasn't the right time to consider the change.
North Carolina's gasoline prices have dropped 64 cents a gallon since peaking May 6. It is an early Christmas present for the 2.4 million motorists in the state expected to drive more than 50 miles this holiday season, according to AAA Carolinas.