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A gas station.
The Kittredge General Store in May 2021. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado began collecting a 2-cent-per-gallon fee on gasoline purchases on April 1. 

Revenue from the fee, which increases to 3 cents per gallon on July 1, will go toward addressing the state’s multibillion-dollar transportation project backlog. The charge was imposed through a bill passed by the legislature in 2021 that also added fees on deliveries, rideshare rides and electric vehicles. 

The gas fee was originally supposed to begin in July 2022, but the legislature delayed the start until April 1, at a cost of $45 million, because of high gas prices. A year ago, the average cost of a gallon of regular gas in Colorado was $3.97. This week, it was hovering around $3.47.

Fuel prices reached an all-time high in Colorado in June 2022, when a gallon of regular gasoline averaged $4.92 and diesel was at $5.54 a gallon, according to AAA. 

The gas fee is set to increase gradually by 1 cent per year until it reaches 8 cents per gallon in July 2028. In July 2032, the fee will be adjusted annually based on inflation. 

Other fees imposed by the bill include: 

  • A 27-cent fee on deliveries 
  • A 30-cent fee on rideshares
  • A 4-cent-per-gallon fee on diesel fuel. Like the gas fee, the diesel fee increases annually — but by 2 cents — until it reaches 16 cents in 2028.

The fuel and road-usage fees are the subject of a lawsuit filed in Denver District Court by conservatives who argue the charges were illegally imposed. Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights requires that voters approve all tax increases, but fees can be imposed by the legislature as long as the revenue goes to a set purpose. 

Colorado also collects a 22-cent tax on each gallon of gas sold. The state’s gas tax is among the lowest in the country. 

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Jesse Paul

The Colorado Sun — Desk: 720-432-2229 Jesse Paul is a political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is...