Government Makes More on Gas than Oil Companies


This is a few days old but it’s still notable. Politicians and Bill O’Reilly want you to blame oil companies and speculators for the high cost of filling up your gas tank. But did you know that government makes more off of a gallon of gas than the oil companies do? If not, you must rely on the main stream media for your news.

In a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal Drew Johnson outlined all of the costs associated with turning crude oil into gasoline. It’s quite a process that accounts for a good chunk of what you pay at the pump. Crude oil doesn’t magically turn into gasoline, but the Democrats want you to think it does. What they don’t want you to know is that while oil company profits average about 7 cents per gallon, the cost of government is about 50 cents. (Liberal states like New York are higher, by the way.)

The remaining 12%—or almost 50 cents per gallon today—goes directly to federal, state and local governments in an array of sales and excise taxes. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents on every gallon of gasoline sold in America. State gas-tax rates vary from a low of eight cents per gallon in Alaska to a jarring 49 cents per gallon in New York. Other states where it’s steep to fill up include California and Connecticut—each with 48.6-cent-per-gallon gas taxes—and Hawaii, at 47.1 cents per gallon.

Some local governments have gotten in on the act, too. In California, local sales and excise taxes on gasoline average 3.1%, according to the Los Angeles Times. That works out to about 12 cents in local taxes for each gallon of gas, based on the state’s current average of $3.80 per gallon.

Skokie, Ill., a suburb north of Chicago, levies a gas tax of three cents per gallon. You’ll pay an extra nickel per gallon at gas stations in Eugene, Ore. And the next time you’re gambling in Las Vegas, you’ll need plenty of cash left over to cover Clark County’s 10 cent local tax on a gallon of gas. In Florida, Brevard County (home to the Kennedy Space Center) expects to siphon more than $15 million from motorists this year, according to the newspaper Florida Today.

Put this all together, and government makes far more from gas sales than all of the oil companies put together. Exxon, for example, made only seven cents per gallon of gasoline in 2011. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 50 cents per gallon that federal, state and local governments rake in on an average gallon of gas pumped in the U.S. (Read More)

This makes Mark Oxner’s “Truth in Taxation” plan seem like a really good idea. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a sticker on the gas pump showing how much the oil company made compared to how much the government took?

H/T Michael A.