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Policy Information

Highway Statistics 2008

Federal Tax Rates on Motor Vehicles and Related Products 1/

October 2009
Table FE-101B

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EFFECTIVE DATE OF NEW TAX OR REVISIONOF EXISTING TAX AUTOMOBILES (PERCENT OF MANUFACTURER'S SALES PRICE) MOTORCYCLES (PERCENT OF MANUFACTURER'S SALES PRICE) BUSES (PERCENT OF MANUFACTURER'S SALES PRICE) TRUCKS  2/ TRAILERS  2/ PARTS AND ACCESSORIES (PERCENT OF MANUFACTURER'S SALES PRICE) TIRES  3/ TUBES  3/ TREADRUBBER (CENTS PER POUND)  4/ USE
October 4, 1917 3 percent 3 percent 3 percent 3 percent Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Automobiles for hire $10 for 7 orfewer passengers;  $20  for over 7 passengers
January 1, 1919 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow fewer passengers;  $20  for over 
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 7 passengers
February 25, 1919 5 percent 5 percent 5 percent Down arrow Down arrow 5 percent 5 percent 5 percent Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Exempted truck chassis sold Down arrow       Down arrow Down arrow
July 3, 1924 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow for $1,000 or less and truck Down arrow 2.5 percent 2.5 percent 2.5 percent Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow bodies for $200 or less Down arrow       Down arrow Down arrow
February 26, 1926 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Repealed Down arrow Repealed Repealed Repealed Down arrow Down arrow
March 29, 1926 3 percent 3 percent 3 percent Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
June 30, 1926 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Repealed
May 29, 1928 Repealed Repealed Repealed Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
June 21, 1932 3 percent 3 percent 3 percent 2 percent Down arrow 2 percent 2.25¢ per pound 4¢ per pound Down arrow Down arrow
July 1, 1940 3.5 percent 3.5 percent 3.5 percent 2.5 percent Down arrow 2.5 percent 2.5¢ per pound 4.5¢ per pound Down arrow Down arrow
October 1, 1941 7 percent 7 percent 5 percent 5 percent House trailers, 7 percent; others, 5 percent 5 percent 5¢ per pound 9¢ per pound Down arrow Down arrow
                Down arrow Down arrow
February 1, 1942 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow All motor vehicles, $5
June 30, 1946 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Repealed
November 1, 1951 10 percent 10 percent 8 percent 8 percent 8 percent  5/ 8 percent Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
September 1, 1955 Down arrow Repealed Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow         Down arrow   Down arrow Annual tax on motor vehicles
July 1, 1956 Down arrow Down arrow 10 percent 10 percent 10 percent  5/ Down arrow 8¢ per pound Down arrow over 26,000  pounds gross weight,
  Down arrow Down arrow         Down arrow   Down arrow $1.50 per 1,000 pounds
  Down arrow Down arrow         Down arrow   Down arrow 6/
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow       Annual tax on motor vehicles
July 1, 1961 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 10¢ per pound 10¢ per pound over 26,000  pounds gross
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow   Down arrow     weight,  $3 per 1,000 pounds  6/
June 22, 1965  7 percent   7/ Down arrow 10 percent   5/ 10 percent   5/ Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
January 1, 1966 6 percent Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 8 percent  8/ Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
March 16, 1966 7 percent Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
August 16, 1971 Repealed Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
November 10, 1978 Down arrow Down arrow Repealed  9/ Down arrow Down arrow 8 percent  9/ 10/ 10¢ per pound  9/ 10¢ per pound  9/ 5¢  9/ Down arrow
January 1, 1981 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 9.75¢ per pound  9/ 11/ Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
January 7, 1983 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 10 percent   12/ 10 percent  5/ 12/ Repealed Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
April 1, 1983 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 12 percent  12/ 12 percent  5/ 12/ Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 15¢ per pound over 40     Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow to 70 pounds; $4.50     Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow plus 30¢ per  pound     Down arrow
January 1, 1984 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow over 70 to 90 pounds; Repealed Repealed Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow $10.50 plus 50¢ per     Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow pound over 90     Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow pounds  9/     Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Annual tax on motor vehicles:
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 55,000 TO 75,000 pounds gross
July 1, 1984 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow weight, $100 plus $22 per 1,000
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow pounds over 55,000 pounds; over
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 75,000 pounds, $550  13/
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 9.45¢ per 10 pounds max. Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
January 1, 2005 Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow rated load capacity over Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow 3,500 pounds, (4.725¢ in Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow the case of bias ply  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow or super-single tires  Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow
Scheduled change Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Termination Termination Down arrow Termination Down arrow Down arrow Termination
under existing laws Down arrow Down arrow Down arrow Sept. 30, 2011 Sept. 30, 2011 Down arrow Sept. 30, 2011 Down arrow Down arrow Sept. 30, 2011

1/ The focus of this table is on the Federal taxes on motor vehicles and related products used on highways. The detail provided for other uses is incomplete. Most of the revenue raised by the taxes described is dedicated to the Federal Highway Trust Fund for the financing of highway and transit programs.

2/ Percent of manufacturer's sales price through March 31, 1983; percent of retailer's sales price thereafter.

3/ Percent of manufacturer's sales price to February 26, 1926; re-enacted effective June 21, 1932, on a cents-per- pound basis, but applicable to all tires and tubes, not limited to those for automotive vehicles. Tires and tubes for toys exempted effective November 1, 1951. The additional 3 cents per pound, effective July 1, 1956, and 2 cents per pound, effective July 1, 1961, apply to tires for highway vehicles only. Laminated tires are taxed 1 cent per pound effective July 1, 1965. Effective January 1, 1984, tires of 40 pounds or less are exempt.

4/ Applies to tires "of the type used on highway vehicles."

5/ The following are exempt from the stated taxes: effective November 1,1951, house trailers; effective June 22, 1965, school buses, camper bodies, motor homes, truck and trailer bodies designed for seed, feed, and fertilizer, small three-wheeled vehicles; effective September 23, 1971, trucks, buses, and trailers 10,000 pounds or less gross weight; and, effective December 11, 1971, local transit buses in urban use and trash container bodies for trucks.

6/ The tax applies to the entire gross weight of a vehicle or combination if its gross weight exceeds 26,000 pounds. Buses used in local transit service are exempt.

7/ Although the "basic" tax on automobiles was 7 percent of the manufacturer's wholesale price until January 1, 1966, the 10-percent rate that became effective on a temporary basis November 1, 1951 remained in effect through periodic extensions.

8/ Automobile parts and accessories are exempt from stated taxes.

9/ Taxes paid on buses purchased after April 19, 1977 are refunded. Effective December 1, 1978, bus parts and accessories are exempt and school buses along with intercity and local buses used to transport the general public for compensation on scheduled routes (or 20 or more passenger buses on nonscheduled routes) are exempt from the stated taxes for tires, tubes, and tread rubber.

10/ Although the "basic" tax is 5 percent of the manufacturer's wholesale price, the 8-percent rate that became effective on a temporary basis November 1, 1951, remained in effect through periodic extensions until the tax was repealed.

11/ The tax on nonhighway tires is 4.875 cents per pound except laminated tires are taxed at 1 cent per pound.

12/ Trucks 33,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight, trailers 26,000 pounds or less gross vehicle weight and rail/highway trailers are exempt from stated taxes. Effective July 18, 1984, piggyback trailers are taxed at 6 percent through July 17, 1985.

13/ The effective date for the rate change for small owner-operator with 5 or fewer taxable trucks is July 1, 1985. Rate is reduced by 25 percent for logging trucks. Trucks used less than 5,000 miles (farm trucks 7,500 miles) per taxable year on public highways and trucks with gross weights under 55,000 pounds are exempt. Effective July 1, 1987, trucks based for registration purposes in Canada or Mexico shall be taxed at 75 percent of the rate before they can operate in the United States. Previously these vehicles were exempt.

Updated: 01/03/2012

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United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration