Traditional state revenue sources for transportation, which account for the majority of state transportation spending, include motor fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees and taxes, other taxes and fees, and general fund revenues. These funding sources are primarily dedicated to highways but vary by state and may also fund bridges, rail, and ports.
More detailed information on state revenue sources are provided through links to external sources below.
Each state levies an excise tax on motor fuel purchases.
View more information at the AASHTO Center for Excellence in Project Finance
Many states levy other taxes and fees on motor fuel purchases including environmental fees and inspection fees, which typically are not devoted to transportation. Other examples include a surcharge in Minnesota to pay the debt service on bonds sold for roadway improvements and the State Comprehensive Enhanced Transportation System tax in Florida, a portion of which is used to fund transportation projects on adopted work programs in districts where the tax is collected. As in some other states, this tax is indexed to the consumer price index. Finally state sales taxes are often devoted to transportation purposes.
All states collect some form of a vehicle registration fee. State registration fees vary from a flat fee to ones based on vehicle value, weight, age, horsepower, and number of cylinders. Depending on the state, the revenue collected from registration fees may not be exclusively allocated to transportation uses. For example, Alaska and Georgia do not explicitly fund transportation with these revenues.
Also find the FHWA state motor vehicle registration fee schedules below.
State general fund revenues collectively account for approximately 7 to 8 percent of total state highway funding, although not all states use general fund revenues for highway purposes. State general fund proceeds directed to transportation projects amounted to just over $8 billion in 2007 and nearly $7 billion in 2008. State general funds are established through income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and other state and local fees.
Other sources of funding for highways include: inspection fees, driver license fees, advertising, rental car taxes, state lottery/gaming proceeds, oil company taxes, vehicle excise taxes, vehicle weight fees, investment income, and other licenses, permits, and fees.