U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

MAP-21 - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Home / MAP-21 / Fact Sheets / Highway Trust Fund and Taxes

Highway Trust Fund and Taxes

Statutory References:  MAP-21 Division D; Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.)

Extension of Highway-User Taxes
Generally, extends the imposition of highway-user taxes through September 30, 2016 with no change to the tax rates.  These taxes consist of gallonage taxes on highway motor fuel and truck related taxes, including an annual tax on heavy vehicle use, a load rating-based tax on heavy truck tires and a retail sales tax on truck and trailer sales.  The heavy vehicle use tax is extended through September 30, 2017.  The taxes on highway motor fuel will continue past September 30, 2016, but at a reduced rate of 4.3 cents per gallon.  [§ 40102]

The imposition of the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund tax is also extended without rate change. [§ 40102, 26 USC 4081]

Transfer of Taxes to the Highway Trust Fund

The deposit to the Highway Trust Fund of amounts equivalent to the proceeds of the highway-user taxes is extended through September 30, 2016. [§ 40102, 26 USC 9503]

Generally, the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund receives 0.1 cent per gallon of the fuel tax, the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund receives 2.86 cents per gallon and the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund receives the remainder.  [ 26 USC 9503, 9508]  All proceeds of the non-fuel taxes are deposited in the Highway Account. (See table below for details.)

The transfer of estimated motorboat gasoline taxes and taxes on small-engine fuel to the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is extended. The Land and Water Conservation Fund will continue to receive $1 million per year of motorboat gasoline receipts. [26 USC 9503] 

Additional Revenues for the Highway Trust Fund

To supplement the proceeds of the highway-user taxes deposited in the Highway Trust Fund, the following additional transfers are to be made to the Highway Trust Fund:

Expenditures from the Highway Trust Fund

Authority to make expenditures from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund for authorized purposes is extended through September 30, 2014.  After the specified date, expenditures from the Trust Fund are authorized only to liquidate obligations made before that date.  Any other expenditure will cause the cessation of deposits of highway-user taxes to the Trust Fund. [§40101, 26 USC 9503]

Federal Highway User Taxes

Fuel Type Effective
Date
Tax Rate
(cents per gallon)
Distribution of Tax
Highway Trust Fund Leaking
Underground
Storage Tank
Trust Fund
Highway
Account
Mass
Transit
Account
Gasoline 10/01/1997 18.4 15.44 2.86 0.1
Diesel 10/01/1997 24.4 21.44 2.86 0.1
Gasohol 01/01/2005 18.4 15.44 2.86 0.1
Special Fuels:          
  General rate 10/01/1997 18.4 15.44 2.86 0.1
  Liquefied petroleum gas 10/01/2006 18.3 16.17 2.13 -
  Liquefied natural gas 10/01/2006 24.3 22.44 1.86 -
  M85 (from natural gas)
Compressed natural gas [1]
10/01/2009 18.4 15.44 2.86 0.1

Truck Related Taxes – All Proceeds to Highway Account

Tire Tax

9.45 cents for each 10 pounds so much of the maximum rated load capacity thereof as exceeds 3,500 pounds

Truck and Trailer Sales Tax

12 percent of retailer’s sales price for tractors and trucks over 33,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) and trailers over 26,000 pounds GVW

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Annual tax:

Trucks 55,000 pounds and over GVW, $100 plus $22 for each 1,000 pounds (or fraction thereof, in excess of 55,000 pounds). Maximum tax: $550


[1] Effective October 1, 2006, the tax rate for compressed natural gas is required to be set on an energy equivalent basis to gasoline. This rate has been determined to be 18.3 cents per 126.67 cubic feet. The Mass Transit Account receives 9.71 cents per thousand cubic feet and the Highway Account receives the remainder.

Page last modified on September 12, 2013.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000