The first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax was Oregon, which enacted a 1-cent per gallon tax in February 1919. During the following decade every U.S. state and the District of Columbia followed suit. In 2006 the average state gas tax was 20.8 cents per gallon. The federal gasoline tax was created with the Revenue Act of 1932, and began as a temporary levy with a rate of 1 cent per gallon. Over the years the tax has increased significantly, and in 2006 stood at 18.4 cents per gallon. The combined burden of federal, state and local gas taxes costs American drivers an average of 45.9 cents on every gallon purchased in 2006.
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In the debate over the tax extenders, the 55 or so tax provisions that need to be extended year after year, it’s easy to just throw up your hands and say: “let’s just get rid of them all- they are just a bunch of...
The most immediate issue in U.S. Federal tax policy today is the issue of the “tax extenders:” orphaned, temporary tax provisions that get their name from the way they are “extended” by Congress on an ad-hoc basis.