New Report: Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Fraction of Road Spending
January 17, 2013
Despite being dedicated to fund transportation projects, revenue from gas taxes and tolls pay for only about a third of state and local spending on roads, according to our new analysis, "Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Third of State & Local Road Spending." Wyoming and Alaska come last in transportation funding derived from gas taxes and tolls, while Delaware and Florida rank the highest. Check out the report for a full table for each state.
Wyoming jumped out at us: why so low? Part of the reason is the second-lowest gasoline tax in the nation, at 14 cents per gallon. More than being low compared to its neighbors, it's the lowest it's ever been after adjusted for inflation over time:
Wyoming still spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on transportation, doing so from general revenues. If that level of spending is going to continue, a better approach would be greater reliance on tolls, user taxes like the gasoline tax, and user fees.