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DRIVERS PAYING MORE GAS TAXES AS VACATION SEASON NEARS

 WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As American motorists prepare for the traditional summer driving season, they will pay an average of 18.1 cents per gallon in state gasoline taxes -- up half a cent from last year, according to a survey by the Highway Users Federation.
 Drivers also pay an additional 14.1 cents per gallon in federal gasoline taxes, for a total average of 32.2 cents in combined taxes, meaning nearly one-third of the price of gas is taxes.
 No driver actually pays the "average" state gasoline tax, because state taxes range from as high as 26 cents per gallon in Rhode Island to 7.5 cents in Georgia.
 Ten states place additional taxes on motor fuel, usually in the form of sales taxes. Thirteen states allow local jurisdictions to levy their own motor fuel taxes in addition to the state and federal taxes.
 Most federal motor fuel tax revenues go into the federal Highway Trust Fund, the financing source for federal aid to highways. Each penny a gallon in federal taxes yields roughly $1 billion of income to the trust fund. However, since 1990, 2-1/2 cents per gallon has gone toward "deficit reduction," taking that money away from highway investment. As part of its 1994 budget proposal, the Clinton administration proposes to return that revenue to the trust fund.
 Most state motor fuel tax revenues are used on state highway and bridge projects, and as matching funds for federal-aid projects.
 So far this year, three states have raised their motor fuel taxes, and six more are considering doing so. In Montana, the governor was expected to approve a 7 cents per gallon increase over the next 2 years. Florida, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington are all considering increases.
 Connecticut raised its gas tax 2 cents per gallon and its diesel tax 3 cents per gallon on Jan. 1.
 Florida adjusted its variable and other tax rates to a total of 16.1 cents per gallon for gasoline and gasohol and 15 cents for diesel.
 Wisconsin increased its gas, diesel and gasohol taxes 1 cent per gallon on April 1.
 Showing that taxes can go down as well as up, Nebraska's motor fuel tax decreased from 24.6 to 22.7 cents per gallon for April through June as a result of adjustments in its variable tax. Variable taxes are those pegged to a changing value, such as the wholesale price of motor fuel.
 The Higher Users Federation is a national private sector coalition of businesses, industries and associations promoting improved highway transportation safety and efficiency.
 STATE MOTOR FUEL TAX RATES
 (cents per gallon)
 State Gas Dsl Gshl Pct. Local
 Add. Opt.
 Tax
 AL(A) 18 14 13 Y
 AK 8 8 0
 AZ 18 18 18
 AR 18.5 18.5 18.5
 CA 17 17 17 7.25 Y
 CO 22 18 22
 CT 28 18 27 3
 DE 19 19 19
 DC 20 20 20
 FL(A) 16.1 15 16.1 Y
 GA 7.5 7.5 7.5 4
 HI 16 16 16 4 Y
 ID 21 21 21
 IL 19 21.5 19 5 Y
 IN 15 16 15 5
 IA 20 22.5 19
 KS 18 20 18
 KY(A) 15 12 15
 LA 20 20 20
 ME 19 20 19
 MD 23.5 21.75 23.5
 MA 21 21 21
 MI 15 15 15 4
 MN 20 20 18 Y
 MS 18 18 18
 MO 13 13 13
 MT 20 20 20
 NE(A) 22.7 22.7 22.7 Y
 NV 24 27 24
 NH 18 18 18
 NJ 10.5 13.5 4.5
 NM 16.2 16.2 16.2 Y
 NY 8 10 8 4 Y
 NC(A) 21.9 21.9 21.9
 ND 17 17 17
 OH(A) 21 21 21
 OK(A) 17 14 17 1
 OR 24 24 19 Y
 PA 12 12 12 6
 RI(A) 26 26 26
 SC 16 16 10
 SD 18 18 16 Y
 TN 21.4 17.4 21.4 Y
 TX 20 20 20
 UT 19 19 19
 VT 15 16 16
 VA 17.7 16.2 17.7 Y
 WA 23 23 23
 WV(A) 20.35 20.35 20.35
 WI 23.2 23.2 23.2
 WY(A) 9 9 5
 FED 14 20 8.7
 Gasoline Average -- 18.1
 Diesel Average -- 17.9
 Gasohol Average -- 16.9
 (A) Variable Rate
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Eron Shosteck of the Highway Users Federation, 202-857-1200/


CO: Highway Users Federation ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN

SU:

IH-MH -- DC022 -- 8769 04/21/93 12:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1993
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