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Week from holiday weekend, gas prices have fallen

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(The Center Square) – One week before the long Memorial Day weekend holiday, North Carolinians are paying a little less than a month ago and remain near a quarter below the national average.

Friday morning’s statewide average, according to the American Automobile Association, is $3.35 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. A month ago it was $3.37. The national average is $3.59, down from $3.66 a month ago.

Diesel fuel is an average of $3.87 per gallon. That’s down from $3.94 a month ago and near last year’s $3.84 on the same date. The national average is $3.92.

Seventeen states have lower average prices for unleaded; 26 are lower for diesel.

North Carolina this year taxes gasoline at 40.5 cents per gallon, up 2 cents from last year and the seventh-highest in the country. States higher are Pennsylvania (61 cents); California (54); Washington (49); and Illinois, Maryland and New Jersey (all 42). Diesel tax in North Carolina (40 cents per gallon) is 10th behind only Pennsylvania (78); Indiana (55); Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington (49 each); Ohio (47); Maryland (43); and California (41).

Among 14 major metro areas, unleaded gas is the least expensive in New Bern ($3.22) and most expensive in Durham-Chapel Hill ($3.45). Diesel is most consumer-friendly ($3.76) in Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton.

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