Gary Hufbauer is the Reginald Jones Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
A seminal thinker and world-renowned expert on international trade, commerce, and taxation, for the past...
Gas taxes are generally used to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and new projects. While gas taxes are not a perfect user fee like tolls, they are generally more favorable than other taxes because they at least loosely connect the users of roads with the costs of enjoying them. However, some of our recent analysis shows that many states do not rely on gas taxes and tolls as much as they could, and instead fund substantial amounts of transportation from other sources like income and sales taxes. For example, Virginia’s Governor McDonnell (R) spearheaded a plan this year that problematically raised sales taxes to pay for new transportation funding increases.
This week’s Monday Map takes a look at state gasoline tax rates. The data comes from a recently updated report by the American Petroleum Institute, and there are some interesting changes since our last map on gas taxes. California is now in 1st place with the highest rate of 53.2 cents per gallon, and is followed closely by Hawaii (50.3 cents/gallon), New York (49.9 cents/gallon), and Connecticut (49.3 cents/gallon). On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska has the lowest rate at 12.4 cents per gallon, but New Jersey (14.5 cents/gallon) and South Carolina (16.8 cents/gallon) aren’t far behind. These rates do not include the additional 18.4 cent federal excise tax.
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Yesterday, the Senate approved a three month extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The bill, called the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act, would fund the Highway Trust Fund until...