This week’s taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. map takes a look at state gasoline tax rates, using data from a recent report by the American Petroleum Institute. California is in 1st place with the highest rate of 52.89 cents per gallon, and is followed closely by New York (49.86 cents/gallon), Connecticut (49.3 cents/gallon), and Hawaii (48.05 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 (16.75 cents/gallon) aren’t far behind. These rates do not include the additional 18.4 cent federal excise tax.
Gas taxes are generally used to fund transportation infrastructure maintenance and new projects. While gas taxes are not a perfect user feeA user fee is a charge imposed by the government for the primary purpose of covering the cost of providing a service, directly raising funds from the people who benefit from the particular public good or service being provided. A user fee is not a tax, though some taxes may be labeled as user fees or closely resemble them. 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 taxA gas tax is commonly used to describe the variety of taxes levied on gasoline at both the federal and state levels, to provide funds for highway repair and maintenance, as well as for other government infrastructure projects. These taxes are levied in a few ways, including per-gallon excise taxes, excise taxes imposed on wholesalers, and general sales taxes that apply to the purchase of gasoline. es and tolls as much as they could, and instead fund substantial amounts of transportation from other sources like income and sales taxA sales tax is levied on retail sales of goods and services and, ideally, should apply to all final consumption with few exemptions. Many governments exempt goods like groceries; base broadening, such as including groceries, could keep rates lower. A sales tax should exempt business-to-business transactions which, when taxed, cause tax pyramiding. es.
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