Tax Rate on Gasoline

Watch our Friday, February 14, 2014 news conference about the proposed gasoline excise tax rate

California Gasoline Excise Tax

The excise tax rate is adjusted every year to ensure the overall state taxes consumers pay at the pump remain the same as they would have been under the prior tax structure. The graphic above illustrates how these tax laws work.

In March 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two fuel tax measures (AB x8 6 and SB 70), commonly referred to as the fuel tax swap, which adjusted the rates of the sales and excise tax on gasoline, effective July 1, 2010. The fuel tax swap legislation was designed to be revenue neutral, ensuring overall state taxes paid by consumers at the pump are the same as they would have paid under the prior tax structure. Thus, the fuel tax swap legislation does not produce a net revenue gain in state taxes. The legislation mandated the BOE to adjust the excise tax rate every year by March 1. The new rate is effective July 1 of each year.

Beginning July 1, 2013, the excise tax on gasoline was $0.395 per gallon.

BOE's Role:

  • BOE has no independent authority to increase taxes.
  • State law currently imposes a sales tax and an excise tax on motor vehicle fuel.
  • The legislation mandates the BOE adjust the excise tax rate annually by March 1.

Where your money is going

The 2.25 percent sales tax on gasoline primarily funds local government. The excise tax is dedicated to public roads and mass transit.

How The 2.25 percent sales tax on gasoline is broken down:

  • 1.0% Bradley-Burns local tax
  • 0.25% Fiscal Recovery Fund to pay for Economic Recovery Bonds (RTC section 6051.5)
  • 0.50% Local Public Safety Fund (Sec. 35, Article XIII)
  • 0.50% Local Revenue Fund (RTC section 6051.2)

*The Proposition 30 quarter percent sales tax increase does not apply to gasoline sales, and is not factored into the adjustment of the excise tax rate for gasoline.