News Release

Contact: Office of Public Affairs
1-916-327-8988
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2016
NR 50-16-M

Californians Motoring More
Quarterly Gasoline Consumption for Fourth Quarter 2015 Highest Since 2007

Sacramento – More Californians hit the highway in the fourth quarter of 2015 than 2014, with drivers purchasing 3,798,626,428 gallons of gasoline in 2015 compared to 3,714,745,430 in 2014, announced Board of Equalization (BOE) Chairwoman Fiona Ma, CPA. This is the most gasoline purchased in the fourth quarter since 2007 when drivers bought 3,901,706,956 gallons—2.7 percent more than this year.

The average fourth quarter price for gasoline in 2015 was $2.63 per gallon (minus sales tax), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This is the lowest fourth quarter price for gasoline since 2008, when it was $2.39 per gallon.

Falling gas prices and lower unemployment figures likely account for the increase in gasoline consumption, according to BOE’s Chief Economist.

"Lower gas prices are a much-needed break for drivers in our state," said Chairwoman Ma.

Gasoline excise tax revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 is estimated at $1,138,215,481 and sales tax is estimated at $322,995,392. Excise tax funds highways and mass transit, while sales tax revenue from gasoline funds various local government programs.

Diesel consumption rose in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 714,843,582 gallons compared to 709,745,380 in 2014. This is a 0.7 percent increase.

The average base price of diesel in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $2.35 per gallon. In 2012, it was $3.68 per gallon in the fourth quarter.

According to the BOE’s Chief Economist, higher diesel consumption is consistent with a growing economy.

Diesel excise tax revenue for fourth quarter 2015 is estimated at $101,760,573. Sales tax revenue for diesel was $159,464,544 in the fourth quarter.


Board Member Fiona Ma, CPA, was elected to the Board of Equalization in November 2014, to represent the Second Equalization District. She represents 9.5 million residents in many of California's coastal counties, from Del Norte to Santa Barbara, including the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Ma served in the California State Assembly from 2006 to 2012, serving as the first Asian woman Assembly Speaker pro Tempore since 1850. While in the Assembly, Ms. Ma focused on improving California, authoring legislation to create jobs and grow the state's economy. As an Executive Board Member of the National Conference of State Legislators, she worked to keep California's economy competitive with other states. Ms. Ma has been a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California since 1992. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/ma.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects $60 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.

Note: This news release may discuss complex tax laws and concepts. It may not address every situation, and is not considered written advice under Revenue and Taxation Code section 6596. Changes in law or regulations may have occurred since the time this news release was written. If there is a conflict between the text of this news release and the law, decisions will be based upon the law and not this news release. For specific help, please contact the BOE at 1-800-400-7115.