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Several States Adjust Fuel Taxes

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The new year not only brought confetti, champagne toasts and resolutions. It also brought changes to motor fuel taxes in several states – including Nebraska and Georgia, which lowered their taxes on gasoline.

State-level excise taxes on gasoline vary and, along with sales taxes, are only part of the overall gasoline taxation rate. Gasoline is also taxed at the federal level and by localities and districts within states, according to The Oilspot News. Federal taxes on gasoline have been unchanged at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1997.

According to data from Nebraska's Department of Revenue (DOR), the tax on gasoline, gasohol, diesel, ethanol and compressed fuels declined to 24.6 cents per gallon from 26.2 cents gallon. The new tax rate will run through June 30 when it will be reset.

And in Georgia, the state's Department of Revenue reported the prepaid state tax on gasoline declined to 12 cents per gallon from 12.1 cents, while the state tax on gasoline for government use also dipped 0.1 cent to 9.0 cents per gallon. The prepaid state tax on diesel will increase to 14.5 cents per gallon from 14.3 cents, while for government use, the prepaid tax edges up 0.2 cents to 10.9 cents per gallon, according to the report.

The average retail sales price in Georgia, which is used to calculate the taxable sales subject to the prepaid tax, is $2.989 per gallon for gasoline and $3.626 per gallon for diesel. The prepaid tax rates and average sales prices are good for the period from Jan. 1 through June 30.

However, the tax rate increased in the Sunshine State. In Florida, the tax rate on motor fuel increased from 16.6 cents per gallon to 16.9 cents. The state tax on diesel fuel also rose to 16.9 cents per gallon from 16.6 cents, while the county tax rate on diesel fuel rose 0.2 cents to 14.1 cents per gallon which brought the total state and county rates on diesel fuel to 31.0 cents per gallon from 30.5 cents, the report said.

According to state documents, in addition to the 16.9 cents per gallon state fuel taxes collected at the loading rack in Florida, terminal suppliers must collect a minimum local option fuel tax of 10.9 cents per gallon on each gallon of motor fuel sold to licensed wholesalers. Total fuel taxes collected by terminal suppliers on sales of motor fuel licensed to wholesalers is 27.8 cents per gallon.

"Wholesalers must remit to the Department of Revenue the local option tax rate above the minimum on motor fuel sold to retail dealers or end-users," the Florida DOR reported. "This rate is in addition to the minimum local option tax of 10.9 cents per gallon collected by terminal suppliers."

In New York the tax rate on gasoline also increased, jumping to 18.6 cents per gallon from 17.8 cents. The tax rate on highway diesel fuel rose to 16.85 cents per gallon from 16.05 cents, while highway B20 biodiesel tax rates increased to 13.48 cents per gallon from 12.84 cents, according to The Oilspot News.

Indiana's prepaid sales tax on gasoline saw a 2-cent increase, rising from 16.3 cents per gallon to 18.3 cents.

American Petroleum Institute data from October 2012 indicated New York, California and Hawaii had the highest tax rates for gasoline, with their state and federal rates at 69.7 cents, 68.9 cents and 67.2 cents per gallon, respectively. The states with the lowest state and federal gasoline taxes were Alaska at 26.4 cents, Wyoming at 32.4 cents and New Jersey at 32.9 cents per gallon.


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