The Gasoline Tax: Break It Down

This week readers want to know why gasoline stations do not list the cost of fuel taxes at the pump; and do the Nevada and California motor vehicle departments exchange information with each other?

Leon Evans asks: Several years ago it was common practice for service stations to display on the pumps the federal, state and local gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. Why isn’t this done now? I would think the station owners would welcome this as a way of showing just where some of our fuel dollars are going.

I’ve asked around about this and can’t find anyone who recalls this practice.

Regardless, it’s still an interesting question. One answer as to why service stations don’t list the taxes could be that there isn’t enough room on the pump to list all the taxes and how they’re broken down.

Yes, it’s that complicated.

Here in Nevada, including federal, state and local gasoline taxes, the maximum tax is just shy of 54.4 cents per gallon of gasoline.

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, only Washoe County charges the maximum.

Clark County’s gasoline taxes are 2.18 cents cheaper.

This is because Nevada allows counties to index a “county optional tax” for inflation. Only Washoe County adds the extra 2.18 cents.

In Clark County, the tax we pay per gallon of gasoline breaks down like this: The federal tax is 18.4 cents. Of that, 15.44 cents goes to the Federal Highway Trust Fund for highways, 2.86 cents goes to the Federal Highway Trust Fund for mass transit, and 0.1 cent goes to the leaking underground storage tank trust fund.

The state tax is 18.455 cents. Of that 17.65 cents goes to the state highway fund, 0.75 cents goes to the petroleum cleanup fund, and 0.055 cents goes to the inspection fee for imported gasoline.

The Clark County tax includes a 6.35 cent mandatory tax. And then there is a 9 cent county optional tax which is administered by the Regional Transportation Commission.

If you add all that up, those of us who buy gasoline in Clark County pay 52.205 cents in taxes per gallon.

The tax for a gallon of diesel fuel is a tiny bit cheaper, according to the Transportation Department. The total tax is 52.15 cents per gallon of diesel fuel.

David Hagenson asks: Does the California DMV and the Nevada DMV have a reciprocity agreement? In other words, if a Nevadan receives a moving violation in California does the California DMV report it to the Nevada DMV?

Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Tom Jacobs put it simply: “Yes we do. Yes we have.”

Most states share information regarding citations. Only Michigan and Wisconsin do not, according to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Nevada, with 39 other states, is part of two compacts, the Driver License Compact and Nonresident Violator Compact, which share information about drivers and motor vehicle violation convictions.

California is only part of the Driver License Compact. Even so, that compact states, “Each jurisdiction shall report each conviction of a person from another jurisdiction occurring within its boundaries to the home jurisdiction of the licensee.”

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Francis McCabe at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number.

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