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65 State DOT, including the motor carrier services division, Collection costs: Electronic reporting system costs, finance division, and motor fuel tax section; manual data input costs, transaction costs, collection State DOR; allowances, costs associated with debt collectors, and Board of Equalization; other indirect costs. Comptroller of Public Accounts; Department of the Treasury; and Follow-up telephone interviews and data transfers were Department of Taxation. used to complete the data-collection process. Once the responsible agency was identified, individuals 4.2.5 Analysis of Cost Data with knowledge of motor fuel tax administrative programs were contacted and follow-on data-collection activities com- As outlined in Section 4.2.1, the primary sources of data menced through the distribution of a survey. used to estimate the costs of administering motor fuel taxes are the Form 556 data reported to FHWA by states. Addi- tional data were collected through surveys from eight sample 4.2.4 Collecting Cost Data from states, which were chosen based on the criteria outlined in State Agencies Section 4.2.2. This section presents the results of the cost analysis using the methodology described earlier in this chap- To collect cost data from state agencies, a questionnaire ter. Note that in all cases, motor fuel tax collection costs (see Appendix B) was designed and distributed to the sample include those associated with both gasoline and special fuels. states. Once a survey was completed, an additional contact Results addressed in this section include was made to discuss the data provided by the respondent. The questionnaire included the following information: Estimated tax collections and costs of motor fuel tax admin- istration for the entire United States for 2003 through 2007, The objectives of the study Estimated tax collections and costs of motor fuel tax admin- Examine, estimate, and compare administrative, collec- istration in 2007 for every state in the United States, tion, and enforcement costs of motor fuel tax programs Administrative costs for states grouped together based on Examine the factors that drive administrative, collec- the criteria outlined in Section 4.2.2 (e.g., point of taxation tion, and enforcement costs or international border state), Topics covered Detailed cost and system characteristics data for each of the Background information: Name of respondent, agency eight states included in the sample frame, and responsible for tax collection and enforcement, and con- Summary information acquired to date through completed tact information surveys. Auditing costs: The types of administrative costs currently incurred when implementing a motor fuel tax, the num- 4.2.6 Summary Data for 2003 through 2007 ber of auditing staff required for motor fuel taxes, costs associated with licensing auditors, return on investment As shown in Table 20, total motor fuel tax collections for all of auditing efforts states have grown from $33.3 billion in 2003 to $39.4 billion Enforcement costs: Presence and cost of motor-fuel track- in 2007. Data reported in Table 20 represent net collections ing systems, on-road inspections of motor fuel, licensing with distributor allowances deducted from gross tax collec- and bonding of motor fuel tax distributors, capital and tions. Average annual collections during that time period were other indirect enforcement costs $35.7 billion. Table 20. Net state motor fuel tax collections and collection expenses (20032007) ($000s). 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Average Net motor fuel tax 33,276,518 34,696,386 35,038,064 36,278,026 39,377,467 35,733,292 collections Collection expenses 326,377 494,404 309,325 373,615 405,096 381,763 Collection expense as 1.0% 1.4% 0.9% 1.0% 1.0% 1.1% percentage of tax collections Source: FHWA, Highway Statistics, 20032007