Fill ‘Er Up — The Tax Coffers, That Is

Few things infuriate me more than heading to the nearest gas station and knowing that both the federal and state governments are going to add significantly to the price I have to pay to fill the car.

Every gallon I buy here in Virginia costs me 38 cents extra thanks to the tax bite — 18.4 cents for the federal excise tax, 17.5 cents for the state gasoline excise tax and another 2.1 cents for “other” state taxes. (Here’s what the American Petroleum Institute says about that “other” category: “0.6 cpg petroleum storage tank fee and 2 percent sales tax on motor fuels in localities that are part of the Northern Virginia Transportation District or localities in a transportation district contiguous to that district.”)

Today, I put a couple of gallons in the Toyota Corolla — enough to get me home to the outer D.C. suburbs, where the gas prices are cheaper — and my wife filled the tank in the Toyota Sienna. The total tab for 19.5 gallons was $56.74, and $7.41 went to the government.

I’d like to think the bureaucrats will put it to good use improving the roads and my commute, but past experience tells me that ain’t gonna happen.


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