IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/iuspea/233758.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

State and federal fuel taxes: The road ahead for U.S. infrastructure funding

Author

Listed:
  • Dumortier, Jerome
  • Zhang, Fengxiu
  • Marron, John

Abstract

Taxes on gasoline and diesel are the primary sources of transportation funding at the state and federal level. Due to inflation and improved fuel efficiency, these taxes are increasingly inadequate to maintain the transportation system. In most states and at the federal level, the real fuel tax rates decrease because they are fixed at a cents-per-gallon amount rather than indexed to inflation. In this paper, we provide a forecast on state and federal tax revenue based on different fuel taxation policies such as indexing to inflation, imposing a sales tax on gasoline and diesel, or using a mileage fee on vehicles. We compare how those taxation policies perform compared to the policies states use currently under different macroeconomic conditions relating to the price of oil, economic growth, and vehicle miles traveled. The baselines projections indicate that between 2015 and 2040, fuel tax revenue will decrease 52.2%-54.9% in states that do not index taxes to inflation and 22.6%-22.9% that do currently index to inflation. Switching to a mileage fee increases revenue between 15.6%-26.9% in 2040 compared to 2015. Indexing fuel taxes to inflation in addition to imposing a states' sales tax increases revenue significantly but suffers from a continuous decline in the long-run due to increased fuel efficiency. Our results indicate that although a mileage fee is politically and technologically difficult to achieve, it avoids a declining tax revenue in the long-run.

Suggested Citation

  • Dumortier, Jerome & Zhang, Fengxiu & Marron, John, 2016. "State and federal fuel taxes: The road ahead for U.S. infrastructure funding," IU SPEA AgEcon Papers 233758, Indiana University, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iuspea:233758
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/233758/files/IU%20SPEA%20AgEcon%20Papers%202016-1.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Starr McMullen, B. & Zhang, Lei & Nakahara, Kyle, 2010. "Distributional impacts of changing from a gasoline tax to a vehicle-mile tax for light vehicles: A case study of Oregon," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 359-366, November.
    2. Austin, David & Dinan, Terry, 2005. "Clearing the air: The costs and consequences of higher CAFE standards and increased gasoline taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 562-582, November.
    3. Chernick, Howard & Reschovsky, Andrew, 1997. "Who Pays the Gasoline Tax?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 233-59, June.
    4. Molly Espey, 1996. "Explaining the Variation in Elasticity Estimates of Gasoline Demand in the United States: A Meta-Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 49-60.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Dumortier, Jerome & Kent, Matthew & Payton, Seth, 2015. "Plug-in vehicles and the future of road infrastructure funding in the United States," IU SPEA AgEcon Papers 202177, Indiana University, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
    8. William G. Gale & Samuel Brown, 2013. "Tax Reform for Growth, Equity, and Revenue," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(6), pages 721-754, November.
    9. Goldman, Todd & Wachs, Martin, 2003. "A Quiet Revolution in Transportation Finance: The Rise of Local Option Transportation Taxes," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt2gp4m4xq, University of California Transportation Center.
    10. Delucchi, Mark, 2007. "Do Motor-Vehicle Users in the US Pay Their Way?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5841z3kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    11. Parry, Ian W.H., 2008. "How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 651-668, March.
    12. Delucchi, Mark A., 2007. "Do motor-vehicle users in the US pay their way?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 982-1003, December.
    13. Park, Sung Y. & Zhao, Guochang, 2010. "An estimation of U.S. gasoline demand: A smooth time-varying cointegration approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 110-120, January.
    14. Antonio M. Bento & Lawrence H. Goulder & Mark R. Jacobsen & Roger H. von Haefen, 2009. "Distributional and Efficiency Impacts of Increased US Gasoline Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 667-699, June.
    15. Delucchi, Mark, 2007. "Do Motor-Vehicle Users in the US Pay Their Way?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2884w7km, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Economics; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:ags:iuspea:233758. 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: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/spiiuus.html .

    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.