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Policy and Governmental Affairs
Office of Highway Policy Information

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Motor Fuel Data and the Highway Trust Fund

eSubscribe - Receive regular email updatesReceipts 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.

More about Motor Fuel and Highway Trust Fund Attribution
Other source on Petroleum – Energy Information Agency

Chart - What We Pay For in a Gallon of Regular Gasoline (January 2015), Retail Price: two dollars and twelve cents per gallon. Average Taxes twenty percent, Distribution and Marketing twenty percent, Refining six percent, Crude Oil fifty-four percent

SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Resources and Publications

Quick Find Fuel Data (motor fuel tables from Highway Statistics)
Motor Fuel Tax Compliance Outreach
Fuel Tax Evasion Webinar - May 2, 2014


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

Data Tidbits

Non Highway accounts for about 3% of gasoline use, and includes agriculture, recreational boating, construction, industrial/commercial, and small plane use.

Distribution of Motor Fuel Use – 2010

Page last modified on November 7, 2014.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000