Motor Fuels Tax Rate Decrease

Date: June 26, 2012

The North Carolina motor fuels tax for gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels will decrease from 38.9 cents to 37.7 cents per gallon for the period from July 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012. 

The tax rate is computed using a flat rate of 17.5 cents per gallon and a variable wholesale component. The variable wholesale component is either 3.5 cents or 7 percent of the average wholesale price of motor fuel during the preceding six-month base period, whichever is greater.   The average wholesale price is a weighted average of the wholesale prices of gasoline and No. 2 diesel fuel.   The average price for the last base period was $2.8810 cents per gallon.  

Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly recently adopted legislation to place a cap on the motor fuels excise tax at the rate of 37.5 cents per gallon.  As the bills are currently written, the cap would be effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013. 

The bills have not yet been signed into law and until then, the effective rate as of July 1, 2012, will be 37.7 cents per gallon. 

The new rate should be used beginning with the gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels reports for July 2012 that are to be filed with the Department of Revenue in August 2012. The state motor fuels tax is included in the retail price paid by consumers at the pump. 


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