Federal Fuel Tax Paid
Federal fuel taxes are collected “at the rack,” meaning that distributors and refiners pay the tax during transactions. This analysis assumes that the price of the tax is passed on to you, the consumer, in the price/gallon.
You pay 18.4 cents in federal fuel tax for every gallon of regular gas and 24.4 cents for every gallon of diesel purchased in Colorado. Like with Colorado’s state fuel tax, the federal fuel tax is a flat tax, meaning it does not fluctuate with the price of gas or the rate of inflation.
Federal fuel taxes collected nationwide flow into the national Highway Trust Fund. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) distributes money among the U.S. states and territories based on a funding formula. These funds consist of reimbursements to states for dollars spent on transportation projects.
State Fuel Tax Paid
State fuel taxes are collected "at the rack," meaning that distributors and refiners pay the tax during transactions. This analysis assumes that the price of the tax is passed on to you, the consumer, in the price/gallon.
You pay 22 cents in state fuel tax for every gallon of regular gas and 20.5 cents for every gallon of diesel purchased in Colorado. Like with the federal fuel tax, the state fuel tax is a flat tax, meaning it does not fluctuate with the price of gas or the rate of inflation.
State fuel taxes go into the Colorado Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF), administered by the Colorado State Treasurer. Based on a formula the State Treasurer uses, 2011 funds were dispensed in the following manner:
- 53.9% goes to state highways (CDOT);
- 19.8% goes to county roads;
- 13.6% goes to city roads; and,
- 12.7% goes to the Colorado State Patrol.
Total Fuel Tax Paid
Federal and state fuel taxes are collected "at the rack," meaning that distributors and refiners pay the tax during transactions. This analysis assumes that the price of the tax is passed on to you, the consumer, in the price/gallon.
CDOT has made some assumptions when making this calculation, including:
- You registered your vehicle on time;
- You didn't rent a car in the state of Colorado;
- Your vehicle weighs between 2,000 and 5,000 lbs.;
- You haven't purchased aviation fuel or gasohol;
- You weren't convicted of driving under the influence, and;
- You don't have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver's license.
The analysis omits annual legislative General Fund transfers to the Capital Construction Fund and disregards registration fee variation based on your county of residence.
Total Fuel Tax Paid to CDOT
The Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) is managed by the Colorado State Treasurer. CDOT receives 100 percent of federal fuel taxes paid in Colorado. In 2011, state fuel tax funds were dispensed by the State Treasurer as follows:
- 53.9% went to state highways (CDOT);
- 19.8% went to county roads;
- 13.6% went to city roads; and,
- 12.7% went to the Colorado State Patrol.
Vehicle Registration Fees
Senate Bill 09-108, the Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery (FASTER) Act, created new funding sources for CDOT beginning in 2010. FASTER fees are derived from the following sources:
- A road safety surcharge and a bridge safety surcharge, each of which vary by vehicle weight and are collected through the same mechanism used for payment of registration fees and specific ownership taxes;
- A daily fee for the use of a rented motor vehicle;
- A supplemental oversize / overweight vehicle surcharge;
- An increased fee for the late registration of a motor vehicle; and,
- An increased unregistered vehicle fine.
Maintaining What We Have
This includes projects and work for the care of our existing system such as resurfacing and reconstruction of existing pavement and bridges, maintenance activities such as roadside and structure (bridge) maintenance and snow removal.
Maximizing the Existing System
Includes operational upgrades and improvements like travel information, electronic signs, projects that add safety upgrades like turn lanes and traffic safety education programs to increase seatbelt use or reduce impaired driving.
Expanding the System
Includes projects that add to our existing transportation system such as adding new lanes to highways.
Limited funding is available for this category of construction currently. However, the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), which is dedicated to increasing highway capacity through innovative finance, is expected to play a role in filling the gap in this function in the future.
Pass Through Funds/Multimodal Grants
CDOT administers federal and state funds that are dedicated to local transportation agencies for highways, to the Division of Aeronautics for airports, to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, and to the Transit and Rail Program.
Delivering Programs and Projects
Spending in this category supports efficient, effective and sustainable management of CDOT programs, collaboration with local transportation agencies to plan for long-term changes in transportation demand and research into methods for innovative program delivery.