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Gas Tax and Road Maintenance

Updated on September 21, 2012

Gas taxes maintain the highways and roads that millions of Americans use daily. The combined federal and state taxes on a gallon of gas vary from state to state. This tax is nothing new and by 1932, all states had gas taxes, which increased by 1956, when the US created the Highway Trust Fund, when America first started building the now many US interstate highways. By 1994, federal gas taxes had increased to 18 cents a gallon. If you have a diesel, the tax is 24 cents. Since that time, costs have skyrocketed in maintaining the highways and the taxes have not increased, now the deficit is reflected in many sections of highways that desperately need resurfacing or repaving. They can pose a dangerous hazard when hit at 70 mph to your chassis and tire. The impact is felt if a chunk of road is 1-inch deep.

The amount of combined state and federal gas taxes vary per state, some are quite dramatic:

  • California, Hawaii, New York have a combined tax of 67 cents a gallon, the highest in the nation
  • Generally, the southwest and south, Alaska, have the lowest @ 26-37 cents a gallon
  • Most others range from 40 - 56 cents a gallon

Many feel the gas tax should be raised to $1, this would not only help maintain the roads but force drivers to buy better MPG rated cars and drive less. Others feel that toll roads are the way to go because these are well maintained by private companies. Some feel the taxes should be greatly increased on truckers, they weight of their rigs have shown to cause more damage to roads over time than cars. Lastly, others feel that gax taxes should be determined how often and how far a driver goes and use GPS to track the movements and charge this on a yearly basis. One could also increased the sales tax on all cars sold by including a federal sales tax on cars (not just the state sales tax).

Right now, the US Highway Fund is $15 billion short. Got any ideas???


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      I agree, tax both of those more.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Extra sales tax on cigarettes and alcohol. These are not necessities in life so why not add some tax? Then people do not feel in their pocketbook unless they want to indulge.