Receipts into the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) comes from a variety of taxes on highway fuel, tires, heavy vehicle use tax, truck/trailer sales taxes. The motor fuel excise tax, currently 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline/gasohol, and 24.4 cents for special fuel (primarily diesel) raises the majority of the revenue. This revenue is then placed into the Highway Trust fund by the US Treasury Department, after collection by the Internal Revenue Service. These funds are then distributed to the States based on formulas provided in Federal legislation.
On a monthly basis, each State is required to report to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the amount of gallons taxed by that state. This data is analyzed and compiled by FHWA staff. The data on the amount of on-highway fuel use for each State is then used to attribute federal revenue to each State. Yearly, the FHWA, Office of Policy, provides data from the previous year's data for use in the attribution process. The previous year data is used to provide States added time to review, allowing them to verify that the data report is correct and ready to be used in attribution.
SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration
American Indian Sales of Motor Fuel (Assessment)
Attribution and Apportionment of Federal Highway Tax Revenues
Attributing Federal Highway Revenues to Each State
Financing Federal-Aid Highways
Fuels Tax Attribution Process Review and Documentation
Guidance for Verifying State Motor Fuel Data
Guide Reporting Highway Statistics (for State submitters of data)
Highway Taxes and Fees: How they are Collected/Distributed (2008)
Monthly Motor Fuel Reported by States
Preparation for Motor Fuel Reviews
Status of Highway Trust Fund
Almost 80% of all fuel on the roadways is gasoline, followed by about 20% for special fuel, mostly diesel from motor carrier movement. SOURCE: Table MF_21, Highway Statistics 2010.