The State Gas Tax Money That Is Diverted Away From Roads and Highways
Reason Foundation

Data Visualization

The State Gas Tax Money That Is Diverted Away From Roads and Highways

Half of the states divert state fuel taxes to pay for expenses unrelated to roads, including money shifted to law enforcement, education, tourism, environmental programs and more.

A recent Reason Foundation policy brief examines the state gas tax money that states divert away from roads and highways.  New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Michigan, and Maryland all divert over 30% of their state gas tax revenues away from roads.

The 10 states diverting the largest percentage of their gas tax money: New York diverts 37.5% of its gas tax revenue, Rhode Island diverts 37.1%, New Jersey and Michigan divert 33.9%, Maryland diverts 32.5%, Connecticut diverts 27%, Texas diverts 24%, Massachusetts diverts 23.9%, Florida diverts 13.6% and Vermont diverts 13.2%.

The policy brief catalogs state gas tax diversions of the 25 states that employ that practice and outlines potential policies that will strengthen the users-pay/users-benefit model of transportation funding. It also notes that states like California aren’t listed among those diverting state gas taxes. California does not divert its gas tax revenue. Instead, the state collects over $8 billion in revenue per year from vehicle registration and miscellaneous motor vehicle fees. Those funds are partially allocated to programs such as the California Highway Patrol, the California High-Speed Rail Authority and local public transportation agencies and projects.

Infographic: State Gas Tax Money Diverted Away From Roads

Full Policy Brief: Revealing State Gas Tax Diversions

Baruch Feigenbaum is senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation and lead author of Reason's Annual Highway Report.

Joe Hillman is a transportation policy research intern at Reason Foundation.