The tables in this section show the volume
of motor fuel used for highway and nonhighway purposes. The term
"motor fuel" applies to gasoline and all other fuels,
including special fuels, coming under the purview of the State
motor-fuel tax laws. "Special fuels" include diesel
fuel and, to the extent they can be quantified, liquefied petroleum
gases such as propane. Gasohol, a blend of gasoline and fuel alcohol,
is included with gasoline in all motor fuel tables in this section
except table MF33E.
Analyses of 1995 motor-fuel consumption are
given in tables MF-21 and MF-24. These tables do not include data
on fuel purchased by the Federal Government for military use or
fuel exported from the United States. In table MF21, adjustments
have been made to allow for losses from destruction, evaporation,
spillage, etc. Additional detail has been added to table MF-21
so that consumption is completely cross classified. The highway
use by fuel type split formerly available from tables MF-25 and
MF-26 may now be found in table MF-21.
Table MF33GA shows, by month, gross gasoline
volumes which have been reported in the publication, Monthly
Motor Fuel Reported by States. Since the data in this table
are taken from monthly reports issued by State fuel-tax agencies,
and few year-end adjustments have been made, the totals will not
agree with those shown in table MF21. Adjustments are made
in the annual data to exclude percentage losses in excess of 1 percent
and to reflect usage rather than tax collections.
Table MF-33E shows Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) estimates of the amount of gasohol used in each State.
The national totals were developed from Internal Revenue Service
reports of tax collections. The stratification by State is estimated
by the FHWA using data reported by the States and other factors.
This table replaces table MF33GLA which contained State-reported
volumes of 10percent gasohol.
STATE MOTOR-FUEL TAXATION
The volume of motor fuel exempt from and subject
to State taxation is shown in table MF-2. This table is intended
for use in revenue analyses and shows fuel volumes without regard
to the type of use. The motor-fuel tax collections for all States
are given in table MF-1, and the disposition of these revenues
is given in table MF-3. These three tables can be found in the
highway finance section. In most States, the tax on aviation fuel
is either refunded or placed in a special fund for aviation purposes.
Similarly, some States place in a separate fund all or part of
the tax paid on fuel used by marine craft and use these funds
for the improvement of marine facilities. When revenue from fuels
used for nonhighway purposes is dedicated for expenditure for
specific nonhighway purposes, it is shown in column 6 of
table MF-1. Table MF-3 shows the disposition of the highway-user
revenues shown in column 7 of table MF-1.
As of December 31, 1995, State gasoline tax
rates ranged from 7.5 to 34 cents per gallon. Tax rates in effect
for 1995 for gasoline and other motor fuels are given in table MF121T
in the highway finance section.
Diesel fuel is the most widely used of the
special fuels. At the end of 1995, fourteen States reported higher
tax rates on diesel fuel than on gasoline and eight States reported
The words "exemption" and "refund"
are not used interchangeably. In this publication, exemption is
applied when the State purposely did not collect the tax, and
refund has been applied when the State collected the tax and later
returned it, in whole or in part. Exemptions are most frequently
granted on motor fuel purchased by the Federal Government; they
are also granted as allowances for loss through evaporation, spillage,
etc. Refunds are often granted for nonhighway uses of motor fuel
such as for agriculture, aviation, manufacturing, construction,
and marine purposes. In most States, gasoline used for nonhighway
purposes is taxed but the tax is refundable, but special fuels
used for nonhighway purposes are exempt from taxation. Historical
data on State and Federal motor fuel gasoline and diesel taxes
are included as tableMF205.
A separate publication entitled Highway
Taxes and Fees, How They Are Collected and Distributed provides
additional information on motor fuel. The provisions governing
the disposition of motor-fuel tax receipts can be found in table
MF-106. Tables MF-101 through MF-105 summarize the more important
State provisions for administering gasoline and special-fuel taxes,
and tables MF-107 through MF-110 give the State licenses and fees
imposed on wholesalers, dealers, and users of motor fuel and the
liquid-fuels inspection fees.
INFORMATION FOR USERS
The records of State agencies that administer
the State taxes on motor fuel are the underlying source for most
of the data presented in these tables. The FHWA estimates highway
use of gasoline by subtracting estimated nonhighway use from the
total use reported by the States.
Over the last several years, there have been
numerous changes in State fuel tax laws and procedures that have
resulted in improved fuel tax compliance, especially for diesel
fuel. The improved compliance has resulted in increased fuel volumes
being reported by the States to FHWA. The trends shown in the
tables reflect both improvements in tax compliance and changes
in consumption. More information on fuel tax compliance issues
may be found in The Joint Federal/State Motor Fuel Tax Compliance
Project Fiscal Year 1994 Midyear Report.