Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA HomeFeedback
Highway Statistics 2006 OHPI > Highway Statistics > 2006 > Section I: Motor Fuel

Return to Previous Page

Section I
Motor Fuel

The tables in this section show the volume of motor fuel used for highway and non-highway purposes. The term 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.

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 non highway 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.

Motor Fuel Use

Analyses of 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 MF-21, 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 MF-33GA 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 MF-21. Adjustments are made in the annual data to exclude percentage losses in excess of 1 percent and to reflect usage rather than tax collections.

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 non-highway purposes is dedicated for expenditure for specific non-highway 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 7of table
MF-1.

Tax rates in effect for the latest calendar year for gasoline and other motor fuels are given in table MF-121T in the highway finance section.

The words "exemption" and "refund" are not used interchangeably. In this publication, exemption is applied when the State purposely did not collect the tax; refund is 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 non-highway uses of motor fuel such as for agriculture, aviation, manufacturing, construction, and marine purposes. In most States, gasoline used for non-highway purposes is taxed but the tax is refundable, but special fuels used for non-highway purposes are exempt from taxation. Historical data on State and Federal motor fuel gasoline and diesel taxes are included as table MF-205. Historical data on Federal motor fuel and related taxes can be found in tables FE-101A and FE-101B.

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 MF105 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 inspection fees.

Since September 30, 1996, all States (except Alaska and Hawaii) and Canadian Provinces have been participating members in International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). IFTA replaced individual State motor-fuel tax provisions on Interstate motor carriers with a uniform method of reconciling motor-carrier taxation among member jurisdictions. The uniform method simplified motor-fuel tax reporting by allowing a motor carrier to report and pay motor-fuel taxes owed to the States and Canadian Provinces to a single base jurisdiction, typically their home State or Province. Under IFTA an Interstate motor carrier only needs a single IFTA fuel tax license for each of its qualified motor vehicles

The base State or Province uses a clearinghouse arrangement to forward the portion of motor-fuel taxes owed to other member States and Provinces. Payments for qualified motor vehicle are made quarterly in all jurisdictions.

The publication Highway Taxes and Fees describes the IFTA process in more detail, and provides further data on motor carrier tax rates in table MF-104.

Return to Previous Page

OHPI Home | Highway Statistics 2006 | Data Feedback


FHWA Home | Feedback
FHWA