The price for a barrel of oil, which ultimately determines how much you and I pay for a gallon of gas at the pump, has been up and down in recent days. The price per barrel is generally determined by investors, much as the stock market operates. It's never certain what will happen next.

Lower oil prices have resulted in prices at the gas pumps coming down just a bit. AAA Northeast, GasBuddy.com, and even the Biden Administration have issued statements indicating their belief that gas prices will resume their upward spiral.

High gas prices Dartmouth
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We can argue all day about why gas and oil prices are so high, but that's not the point of this piece.

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Several members of the Massachusetts Legislature and both Republican candidates for Governor Chris Doughty and Geoff Diehl, have called for the suspension of the state's 24-cents-per-gallon gas tax until the crisis passes or at least eases.

The Democratic candidates Maura Healey and Sonia Chang-Diaz have, to my knowledge, not issued a position on the proposed suspension of the gas tax.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky Visits FEMA Vaccination Site In Boston
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Governor Charlie Baker seemed interested in suspending the gas tax, but after meeting with the legislative leadership indicated he'd prefer his package of long-term tax relief instead. Lawmakers fear lifting the gas tax even temporarily could hurt the Commonwealth's bond rating and its ability to borrow money for transportation projects.

The 24-cents-per-gallon Massachusetts sales tax on gas will remain in place.

Faced with rapidly escalating inflation and staggering gas prices, would you favor suspending the state's gas tax? Or is there some other way the Commonwealth can provide relief from the high cost of filling your tank?

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.