Increase Excise Taxes on Motor Fuels and Index Them for Inflation
CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.
|Billions of Dollars||2023||2024||2025||2026||2027||2028||2029||2030||2031||2032||2023–
|Decrease (-) in the Deficit||-14.9||-21.8||-22.8||-23.2||-23.9||-24.8||-25.8||-26.7||-27.7||-28.6||-106.6||-240.1|
Since 1993, federal excise tax rates on traditional motor fuels have been set at 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. The revenues from those taxes are credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay for highway construction and maintenance as well as for investment in mass transit. (A small portion of the fuel tax—0.1 cent per gallon—is credited to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.) Those tax rates are not adjusted for inflation.
Under this option, federal excise tax rates on gasoline and diesel fuel would increase by 15 cents per gallon. The tax would be indexed for inflation each year using the chained consumer price index.