U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Highway Statistics 2009
Federal Tax Rates on Motor Vehicles and Related Products 1/
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.