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Created on: 1/10/2006
March 2005 Reporting Period

Gasoline Sales

Based on reports of 49 Entities, gasoline consumption for January - March 2005 changed by -1.1 percent compared to the same period in 2004 . /1 During this period, vehicle-miles of travel changed by 0 percent.

The gasoline volume shown in this report is a cumulative tabulation of gross volume reported by wholesale distributors to State motor fuel tax agencies. It includes highway use, nonhighway use and losses. There is a lag of up to 6 weeks between the wholesale transactions reported and retail sales to consumers. Travel trends are reported monthly in Traffic Volume Trends based on actual traffic counts at permanent traffic recorders operated by the State highway agencies and, thus, reflect only highway use of fuel. The vehicle-miles reported include all vehicles, regardless of fuel type. While data in both reports reflect changes in trends, large monthly changes can be caused by exceptional weather conditions, variations in timing of holidays, or processing delays.

Motor Fuel Taxation

All States levy volume taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. The rates in effect for 2005 are shown in Table MF-121T. The gasoline rates vary from a low of 7.5 cents per gallon to 30 cents with an average of 19.7 cents.  Five States provide  for full or partial exemptions for gasohol, a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent fuel alcohol. Diesel fuel rates vary from 7.5 cents to 36.4 cents per gallon.

Traditionally, State fuel tax rates could only be changed with legislation, but 10 States now have variable rate motor fuel taxes. These taxes are adjusted at specified intervals-annually, semiannually, or quarterly-usually on the basis of an index or formula specified in the enabling legislation. These States are identified in the notes on Table MF-121T. Adjustments to variable rate taxes are announced by State tax agencies shortly before the effective date of the change.


/1 This percentage change is a comparison for those States for which data are available for the report month. However, the percentage increase on the national map is a comparison of cumulative data for all States for which both 2004 and 2005 data are available.

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