June 1, 1993

The Price of Mobility: Gasoline Taxes in America

Download Special Report No. 22

Special Report No. 22

Executive Summary
In 1992, the federal government raised $15 billion from the 14.1-cent per gallon federal gasoline tax. Most of this revenue flows into the federal Highway Trust Fund and is sent back to the states in the form of federal aid for highways.

States themselves raised $20 billion from gasoline excise taxes in 1992. State gas tax rates currently range from 7.5-cents per gallon in Georgia to 26-cents per gallon in Rhode Island. The current average combined federal plus state tax rate is 32.9-cents per gallon.

On average, each American paid $142 per year in federal and state gasoline excise taxes in 1992. This translates into a per-driver burden of $212 annually. In addition, state general sales taxes and other state and local charges increase the price of gas at the pump.

Higher federal gasoline taxes may be coming down the road as Washington considers its tax increase options. Proposals for a motor fuels tax hike may boost gasoline prices 4.3-cents per gallon at the pump—a 31 percent hike in the federal excise on gasoline.