IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v59y2013icp663-673.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Gasoline taxes and revenue volatility: An application to California

Author

Listed:
  • Madowitz, M.
  • Novan, K.

Abstract

This paper examines how applying different combinations of excise and sales taxes on motor fuels impact the volatility of retail fuel prices and tax revenues. Two features of gasoline and diesel markets make the choice of tax mechanism a unique problem. First, prices are very volatile. Second, demand for motor fuels is extremely inelastic. As a result, fuel expenditures vary substantially over time. Tying state revenues to these expenditures, as is the case with a sales tax, results in a volatile stream of revenue which imposes real costs on agents in an economy. On July 1, 2010, California enacted Assembly Bill x8-6, the “Gas Tax Swap”, increasing the excise tax and decreasing the sales tax on gasoline purchases. While the initial motivation behind the revenue neutral swap was to provide the state with greater flexibility within its budget, we highlight that this change has two potentially overlooked benefits; it reduces retail fuel price volatility and tax revenue volatility. Simulating the monthly fuel prices and tax revenues under alternative tax policies, we quantify the potential reductions in revenue volatility. The results reveal that greater benefits can be achieved by going beyond the tax swap and eliminating the gasoline sales tax entirely.

Suggested Citation

  • Madowitz, M. & Novan, K., 2013. "Gasoline taxes and revenue volatility: An application to California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 663-673.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:59:y:2013:i:c:p:663-673
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.04.018
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513002577
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hamilton, James D., 2011. "Nonlinearities And The Macroeconomic Effects Of Oil Prices," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(S3), pages 364-378, November.
    2. Chouinard, Hayley & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 2004. "Incidence of federal and state gasoline taxes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 55-60, April.
    3. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
    4. David A. Carter & Daniel A. Rogers & Betty J. Simkins, 2006. "Hedging and Value in the U.S. Airline Industry," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 18(4), pages 21-33, September.
    5. Fullerton, Don & West, Sarah E., 2002. "Can Taxes on Cars and on Gasoline Mimic an Unavailable Tax on Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 135-157, January.
    6. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
    7. Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Samphantharak, Krislert, 2008. "$2.00 Gas! Studying the effects of a gas tax moratorium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 869-884, April.
    8. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2005. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1276-1289, September.
    9. Spiller, Elisheba & Stephens, Heather M., 2012. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Gasoline Taxes: Why Where We Live Matters," Discussion Papers dp-12-30, Resources For the Future.
    10. Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Prince, Lea, 2009. "The optimal gas tax for California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5173-5183, December.
    11. Dora Gicheva & Justine Hastings & Sofia Villas-Boas, 2007. "Revisiting the Income Effect: Gasoline Prices and Grocery Purchases," NBER Working Papers 13614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Mark S. LeClair, 2006. "Achieving Gasoline Price Stability in the U.S.: A Modest Proposal," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 41-54.
    13. Zia Wadud & Daniel J. Graham & Robert B. Noland, 2010. "Gasoline Demand with Heterogeneity in Household Responses," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 47-74.
    14. Shanjun Li & Christopher Timmins & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "How Do Gasoline Prices Affect Fleet Fuel Economy?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-137, August.
    15. West, Sarah E. & Williams, R.C.Roberton III, 2004. "Estimates from a consumer demand system: implications for the incidence of environmental taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 535-558, May.
    16. James D. Hamilton, 2009. "Understanding Crude Oil Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 179-206.
    17. Ian W. H. Parry & Margaret Walls & Winston Harrington, 2007. "Automobile Externalities and Policies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 373-399, June.
    18. Ang-Olson, Jeffrey & Wachs, Martin & Taylor, Brian D., 1999. "Variable-Rate State Gasoline Taxes," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1kf5d54p, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    19. Kayser, Hilke A., 2000. "Gasoline demand and car choice: estimating gasoline demand using household information," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 331-348, June.
    20. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-190, March.
    21. Jonathan Haughton & Soumodip Sarkar, 1996. "Gasoline Tax as a Corrective Tax: Estimates for the United States, 1970-1991," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 103-126.
    22. Michael D. Noel, 2007. "Edgeworth Price Cycles, Cost-Based Pricing, and Sticky Pricing in Retail Gasoline Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 324-334, May.
    23. Tullio Jappelli, 1990. "Who is Credit Constrained in the U. S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-234.
    24. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Balanced Budget Rules and Fiscal Policy: Evidence From the States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(3), pages 329-36, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wittmann, Nadine, 2014. "Regulating gasoline retail markets: The case of Germany," Economics Discussion Papers 2014-17, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Aboura, Sofiane & Chevallier, Julien, 2017. "Oil vs. gasoline: The dark side of volatility and taxation," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 976-989.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:59:y:2013:i:c:p:663-673. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.