U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content
FacebookYouTubeTwitterFlickrLinkedIn

Policy and Governmental Affairs
Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications

FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications / Appendix K

Funding Federal-aid Highways Cover

Funding Federal-aid Highways

Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs

Publication No. FHWA-PL-17-011
January 2017

Full PDF Version, 1.14 MB
To view PDF files, you can use the Acrobat® Reader®.


Appendix K. Historical Federal fuel tax rates

The table below lists Federal excise tax rates on highway motor fuel from 1956-present. Except as specified, tax rates are shown in cents/gallon.

Tax Rate   Effective Date Distribution Of Tax Source of Change
Highway Trust Fund Leaking
Underground
Storage Tank
Trust Fund
General Fund For:
Highway
Account
Mass
Transit
Account
Deficit
Reduction
Not
Specified
GASOLINE
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
9.1   01/01/1987 8 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
14.1   12/01/1990 10 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.4   10/01/1993 10 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.4   10/01/1995 12 2 0.1 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.3   01/01/1996 12 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.4   10/01/1997 15.45 2.85 0.1 - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
18.4 2/ 10/01/1997 15.44 2.86 0.1 - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
DIESEL FUEL
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
15 1/ 08/01/1984 14 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
15.1   01/01/1987 14 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
20.1   12/01/1990 16 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
24.4   10/01/1993 16 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
24.4   10/01/1995 18 2 0.1 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
24.3   01/01/1996 18 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
24.4   10/01/1997 21.45 2.85 0.1 - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
24.4 2/ 10/01/1997 21.44 2.86 0.1 - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
GASOHOL 3/
10 Percent Made with Ethanol
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
0   01/01/1979 - - - - - Energy Tax Act of 1978 P.L. 95-618
4 1/ 04/01/1983 3.56 0.44 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
4 1/ 08/01/1984 3 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
3   01/01/1985 2 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
3.1   01/01/1987 2 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
8.7   12/01/1990 4 1.5 0.1 2.5 0.6 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
13   10/01/1993 4 1.5 0.1 6.8 0.6 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
13   10/01/1995 3.5 2 0.1 6.8 0.6 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
12.9   01/01/1996 3.4 2 - 6.9 0.6 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
13   10/01/1997 6.95 2.85 0.1 2.5 0.6 Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
13 2/ 10/01/1997 6.94 2.86 0.1 2.5 0.6 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
13   12/21/2000 7.54 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2001 P.L. 106-554
13.1   01/01/2001 7.64 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
13.2   01/01/2003 7.74 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
13.2   10/01/2003 10.24 2.86 0.1 - - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004, Part V P.L. 108-310
18.4 4/ 01/01/2005 15.44 2.86 0.1 - - American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 P.L. 108-357
GASOHOL 3/
7.7 Percent Made with Ethanol
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
9.1   01/01/1987 8 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
14.1   12/01/1990 10 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
9.942   01/01/1993 5.842 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Energy Policy Act of 1992 P.L. 102-486
14.242   10/01/1993 5.842 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
14.242   10/01/1995 5.342 2 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
14.142   01/01/1996 5.242 2 - 6.9 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
14.242   10/01/1997 8.792 2.85 0.1 2.5 - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
14.242 2/ 10/01/1997 8.782 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
14.319   01/01/2001 8.859 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
14.396   01/01/2003 8.936 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
14.396   10/01/2003 11.436 2.86 0.1 - - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004, Part V P.L. 108-310
18.4 4/ 01/01/2005 15.44 2.86 0.1 - - American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 P.L. 108-357
GASOHOL 3/
5.7 Percent Made with Ethanol
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
9.1   01/01/1987 8 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
14.1   12/01/1990 10 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
11.022   01/01/1993 6.922 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Energy Policy Act of 1992 P.L. 102-486
15.322   10/01/1993 6.922 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
15.322   10/01/1995 6.422 2 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
15.222   01/01/1996 6.322 2 - 6.9 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
15.322   10/01/1997 9.872 2.85 0.1 2.5 - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
15.322 2/ 10/01/1997 9.862 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
15.379   01/01/2001 9.919 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
15.436   01/01/2003 9.976 2.86 0.1 2.5 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
15.436   10/01/2003 12.476 2.86 0.1 - - Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004, Part V P.L. 108-310
18.4 4/ 01/01/2005 15.44 2.86 0.1 - - American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 P.L. 108-357
SPECIAL FUELS
General Rates
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
9.1   01/01/1987 8 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
14.1   12/01/1990 10 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.4   10/01/1993 10 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.4   10/01/1995 12 2 0.1 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.3   01/01/1996 12 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.4   10/01/1997 15.45 2.85 0.1 - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
18.4 2/ 10/01/1997 15.44 2.86 0.1 - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
SPECIAL FUELS
Liquefied Petroleum Gas 5/
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
14   12/01/1990 10 1.5 - 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.3   10/01/1993 10 1.5 - 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.3   10/01/1995 12 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
13.6   10/01/1997 10.75 2.85 - - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
13.6 2/ 10/01/1997 11.47 2.13 - - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
18.3   10/01/2006 16.17 2.13 - - - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users P.L. 109-59
18.3 5/ 01/01/2016 15.42 2.88 - - - Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 P.L. 114-41
SPECIAL FUELS
Liquefied Natural Gas 6/
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9 1/ 04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
9 1/ 08/01/1984 8 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
9.1   01/01/1987 8 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
14.1   12/01/1990 10 1.5 0.1 2.5 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
18.4   10/01/1993 10 1.5 0.1 6.8 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.4   10/01/1995 12 2 0.1 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
18.3   01/01/1996 12 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
11.9   10/01/1997 9.05 2.85 - - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
11.9 2/ 10/01/1997 10.04 1.86 - - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
24.3   10/01/2006 22.44 1.86 - - - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users P.L. 109-59
24.3 6/ 10/01/2016 21.08 3.22 - - - Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 P.L. 114-41
SPECIAL FUELS
M85 and M100 with Methanol from Natural Gas 7/
3   07/01/1956 3 - - - - Highway Revenue Act of 1956 P.L. 84-627
4   10/01/1959 4 - - - - Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1959 P.L. 86-342
9   04/01/1983 8 1 - - - Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 P.L. 97-424
4.5   08/01/1984 3.5 1 - - - Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 P.L. 98-369
4.6   01/01/1987 3.5 1 0.1 - - Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 P.L. 99-499
7.1   12/01/1990 4.25 1.5 0.1 1.25 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
11.4   10/01/1993 4.25 1.5 0.1 5.55 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
11.4   10/01/1995 5 2 0.1 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
11.3   01/01/1996 5 2 - 4.3 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 P.L. 101-508
9.25   10/01/1997 6.3 2.85 0.1 - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
9.25 2/ 10/01/1997 7.72 1.43 0.1 - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS 8/
(See footnote for units)
48.54   10/01/1993 - - - 48.54 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 P.L. 103-66
48.54   10/01/1997 38.94 9.6 - - - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 P.L. 105-34
48.54 2/ 10/01/1997 38.83 9.71 - - - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century P.L. 105-178
18.3 8/ 10/01/2006 16.981 1.319 - - - Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users P.L. 109-59
18.3 8/ 10/01/2016 17.1 1.2 - - - Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 P.L. 114-41

1/ The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-424) provided that the Mass Transit Account would receive one-ninth of the fuel tax proceeds. The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) provided that the Mass Transit Account would receive 1 cent per gallon. For most fuels, the change had no practical effect.

2/ The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century retroactively revised the Mass Transit Account share of the fuel tax.

3/ Gasohol was not defined in Federal tax law prior to January 1, 1979. The products later defined as gasohol were taxable, to the extent they existed, under the provisions of the gasoline tax. Effective January 1, 1979, the Energy Tax Act of 1978 defined gasohol to be a blend of gasoline and at least 10 percent (by volume) alcohol, excluding alcohol made from petroleum, natural gas, or goal. Blends with less than 10 percent alcohol were taxable as gasoline. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 expanded the definition of gasohol effective January 1, 1993. Under that Act, the product now called 10-percent gasohol corresponds to the definition under the Energy Tax Act of 1978. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 also defined two additional types of gasohol. The term 7.7 percent gasohol includes gasoline-alcohol blends where the alcohol content is at least 7.7 percent but less than 10 percent. The term 5.7 percent gasohol includes gasoline-alcohol blends where the alcohol content is at least 5.7 percent but less than 7.7 percent. The rates shown are for gasohol made with ethanol. Different rates applied to gasohol made with methanol, but such blends were never in common use.

4/ Effective January 1, 2005, gasohol’s partial exemption from the gasoline tax was replaced by an equivalent excise tax credit paid from the General Fund of the Treasury. No further history on the credit is provided.

5/ Prior to January 1, 2016, the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tax rates are in cents per gallon. Effective January 1, 2016, the rates are expressed in cents per gasoline-equivalent gallon. One gallon of gasoline has equivalent energy content to 1.353 gallons of LPG.

6/ Prior to January 1, 2016, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tax rates are in cents per gallon. Effective January 1, 2016, the rates are expressed in cents per diesel-equivalent gallon. One gallon of diesel fuel has equivalent energy content to 1.71 gallons of LNG.

7/ The rates shown are for gasoline-alcohol blends where the alcohol is methanol produced from natural gas. Other rates apply to blends where the alcohol is ethanol or is methanol produced from sources other than natural gas.

8/ Prior to October 1, 1993, compressed natural gas (CNG) was not taxed. From October 1, 1993 through September 30, 2006, CNG was taxed at 48.54 cents per thousand cubic feet. Effective October 1, 2006, the tax rate for compressed natural gas is 18.3 cents per gasoline-equivalent gallon. The Internal Revenue Service determined that one gallon of gasoline was energy equivalent to 126.67 cubic feet. Effective January 1, 2016, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 specified that one gallon of gasoline was energy equivalent to 123.57 cubic feet of CNG.

< Previous | Table of Contents | Next >
Page last modified on March 28, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000