Thursday, January 26, 2006

NC Gas Tax Info

I was at the Great Stops (W. Market St, Greensboro)today and picked up a pamphlet on the NC Gas Tax. It is brought to us by the NC Petroleum Marketers Association. The pamphlet breaks down the gas tax, gives you the surrounding states, and lays out how much is raised and how it is spent.

I'll tell you how I feel about it at the end of this. It is lengthy, but I feel worth it. So please read on.

We currently pay 30.15 cents per gallon at the pump in NC. The tax in other states in the southeast is lower but varies as follows:
GA- 7.5 cents per gallon +3% sales tax
SC- 16 CPG
KY-17.4 CPG
VA- 18.1 CPG
TN-21.4 CPG

We have 78,844 miles of maintained roads in NC. That is 2nd highest only to Texas. The third highest state is Virginia with 57,000 miles of road, but they pay 12.05 cents per gallon less then we do. You get my point.

This all means that if gas is currently at $2.33, you are actually paying $1.8545 per gallon for regular unleaded, and 30.15 cents to NC tax, and 18.4 cents to fed tax.

In the pamphlet it says the state maintains two separate funds to build and maintain roads. The NC Highway Fund and Highway Trust Fund. Here's the breakdown:

NC Highway Fund: 1.403 Billion Dollars 03-04
781 million from Fed to NC for roads
1 billion from motor fuel tax(approx)
75 million from driver license fees
15 million from Financial Security Restoration Fee
48 million from International Registration Fee
18 million from penalties(over weight limit,etc...)
160 million from Staggered Registration Fees
67 Million from truck license plate fees
3 million from registration fees
4.5 million from annual safety inspection
12.5 million in Miscellaneous Fees

Highway Trust Fund: 985 Million 03-04
311 million from motor fuel tax(approx)
578 million from Highway Use Tax
94 million from Title and Registration Fees
2 million from Lien Recording Fees

Grand Total- Approx. $2.388 billion per year

The pamphlet also states that since the Highway Use Tax creation in 1989, $170 million per year has been transferred to the General Fund for the State. This transfer is intended to make the General Fund whole since the Highway Use Tax was moved from the General Fund when created. The approx transfer for 05-06 and 06-07 will be over $250 million based on collections.

For all the cool graphics and other info not included here you should just stop by Great Stops and pick up a pamphlet.

You can get more info here by clicking on the "click here for new tax info" line. It is a PDF of the rise in the NC Gas Tax in July '05. The rate has raised again bringing the current levels to 48.55 cents per gallon(NC and Fed tax).

It is really disturbing what we pay in a gas tax here in NC. I have been in many other states with greater traffic and better roads, and lower gas prices. I just don't feel like we are getting our moneys worth. Maybe an audit of the spending of this money should happen to make sure where it goes? If they can prove to the public that it is the only way, then so be it. I doubt that to be the case. I'll see what else I can dig up soon.
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