Gasoline, like most products, is taxed in several ways. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 13 percent of the price of gas consists of taxes. The average tax paid on gas in the United States, according to the American Petroleum Institute, is 48.1 cents per gallon. These taxes vary from state to state and even from county to county, as different taxes are charged in different areas.
GasPriceWatch.com reports that the United States federal government charges a tax of $0.184 per gallon of gasoline sold. This means that consumers pay 18.4 cents in federal taxes for every gallon of gas that they purchase. If a consumer purchases 5 gallons of gas, for example, she would pay $0.92 in federal taxes. The federal gas tax is not based on a percentage, but rather a flat rate. This means the tax does not depend on the actual price of gas.
State gas taxes vary widely throughout the United States. The lowest gas taxes in the United States can be found in Georgia, which charges 7.5 cents per gallon. The highest taxes are in Wisconsin, with gas taxes of 32.1 cents per gallon. State taxes can vary based on the price of gas, however, as some states charge a flat amount for taxes, while others base it on a percentage of the retail price.
In addition to excise taxes, some states charge sales tax on gas just as they do with many other consumer products. The states that charge sales tax on gas are California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and New York. Florida also charges a sales tax, but it is included as part of the excise tax, and Virginia charges sales tax on any gas sold in the Northern Virginia Transportation District.
In addition to federal excise taxes, state excise taxes and sales taxes, there are several other taxes that may be placed on gas. Some states allow individual counties to levy gas taxes, and several states have additional taxes such as New York State's "spill" tax of 0.3 cents per gallon, North Carolina's inspection tax of 0.25 cents per gallon and Mississippi's environmental protection fee of 0.4 cents per gallon.