The availability and potential of local option motor fuel taxes for local highway and transportation programs are described in this paper. Although over half of the states permit local road user taxes, only a few raise significant sums from these charges and fewer still apply them throughout the state. Only Florida has universally (i.e., 63 of 67 counties) adopted the local option motor fuel tax. Florida's local motor fuel taxes supply one-half of county and one-third of municipal funds for highways, and total spending had doubled for counties and has increased by 50% for municipalities since 1983. The report includes an overview of highway financing with particular focus on local road user funds for highways. The Florida local option gas tax is extensively described along with its impact on local highway financing. Nearly all counties in Florida have adopted the local option gas tax, and its pervasiveness is attributed to its approval by elected officials rather than the voters. Local highway funding has significantly increased, whereas reliance on general revenues and impact fees has decreased. The local option gas tax moves Florida into the mainstream of state motor fuel taxation, that is, the state tax of 9.7 cents per gallon plus average local tax of 5.2 cents approximates the national average motor fuel tax. However, under Florida's arrangement, local governments control 62% of total motor fuel tax revenues, whereas the national average is 29%. Given the need for added revenue for state and local road programs, the local option motor fuel tax might be considered by other states to, in part, offset the decline in real federal spending.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 127-136
  • Monograph Title: Economics, finance, planning, and administration
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495119
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309048214
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1990 12:00AM