The Gas Tax Is Lower Than Ever (Still)

Posted by Andrew Price

The gas tax is lower than ever. From USA Today:

Holiday drivers will pay less than ever at the pump for upkeep of the nation's roads — just $19 in gas taxes for every 1,000 miles driven, a USA TODAY analysis finds. That's a new low in inflation-adjusted dollars, half what drivers paid in 1975. [...]

Although the federal gas tax — 18.4 cents per gallon — hasn't changed since 1993, tax collections are down because today's vehicles go farther on a gallon of gas, cutting tax collections while increasing wear and tear on highways. Inflation since 1993 has eroded the value of the tax to maintain roads.

And our gas taxes are incredibly low compared to other countries. The result of this falling gas tax? We're running out of money for transportation infrastructure and mass transit, while giving people a great excuse not to arrange their lives to be less car-reliant. As I've said before, I'd like to see a dynamic tax that keeps the price of gas at exactly $4 a gallon.

Via Matt Yglesias