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26 U.S. Code § 4064 - Gas guzzler tax

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(a) Imposition of tax

There is hereby imposed on the sale by the manufacturer of each automobile a tax determined in accordance with the following table:

If the fuel economy of the model type

 in which the automobile falls is:

The tax is:

At least 22.5


At least 21.5 but less than 22.5


At least 20.5 but less than 21.5


At least 19.5 but less than 20.5


At least 18.5 but less than 19.5


At least 17.5 but less than 18.5


At least 16.5 but less than 17.5


At least 15.5 but less than 16.5


At least 14.5 but less than 15.5


At least 13.5 but less than 14.5


At least 12.5 but less than 13.5


Less than 12.5


(b) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section—
(1) Automobile
(A) In generalThe term “automobile” means any 4-wheeled vehicle propelled by fuel—
which is manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways (except any vehicle operated exclusively on a rail or rails), and
which is rated at 6,000 pounds unloaded gross vehicle weight or less.
(B) Exception for certain vehicles

The term “automobile” does not include any vehicle which is treated as a nonpassenger automobile under the rules which were prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation for purposes of section 32901 of title 49, United States Code, and which were in effect on the date of the enactment of this section.

(C) Exception for emergency vehiclesThe term “automobile” does not include any vehicle sold for use and used—
as an ambulance or combination ambulance-hearse,
by the United States or by a State or local government for police or other law enforcement purposes, or
for other emergency uses prescribed by the Secretary by regulations.
(2) Fuel economy

The term “fuel economy” means the average number of miles traveled by an automobile per gallon of gasoline (or equivalent amount of other fuel) consumed, as determined by the EPA Administrator in accordance with procedures established under subsection (c).

(3) Model type

The term “model type” means a particular class of automobile as determined by regulation by the EPA Administrator.

(4) Model year

The term “model year”, with reference to any specific calendar year, means a manufacturer’s annual production period (as determined by the EPA Administrator) which includes January 1 of such calendar year. If a manufacturer has no annual production period, the term “model year” means the calendar year.

(5) Manufacturer
(A) In general

The term “manufacturer” includes a producer or importer.

(B) Lengthening treated as manufacture

For purposes of this section, subchapter G of this chapter, and section 6416(b)(3), the lengthening of an automobile by any person shall be treated as the manufacture of an automobile by such person.

(6) EPA Administrator

The term “EPA Administrator” means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(7) Fuel

The term “fuel” means gasoline and diesel fuel. The Secretary (after consultation with the Secretary of Transportation) may, by regulation, include any product of petroleum or natural gas within the meaning of such term if he determines that such inclusion is consistent with the need of the Nation to conserve energy.

(c) Determination of fuel economyFor purposes of this section—
(1) In general

Fuel economy for any model type shall be measured in accordance with testing and calculation procedures established by the EPA Administrator by regulation. Procedures so established shall be the procedures utilized by the EPA Administrator for model year 1975 (weighted 55 percent urban cycle, and 45 percent highway cycle), or procedures which yield comparable results. Procedures under this subsection, to the extent practicable, shall require that fuel economy tests be conducted in conjunction with emissions tests conducted under section 206 of the Clean Air Act. The EPA Administrator shall report any measurements of fuel economy to the Secretary.

(2) Special rule for fuels other than gasoline

The EPA Administrator shall by regulation determine that quantity of any other fuel which is the equivalent of one gallon of gasoline.

(3) Time by which regulations must be issued

Testing and calculation procedures applicable to a model year, and any amendment to such procedures (other than a technical or clerical amendment), shall be promulgated not less than 12 months before the model year to which such procedures apply.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (b)(1)(B), is Nov. 9, 1978.

Section 206 of the Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), is section 206 of act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, title II, as added Dec. 31, 1970, Pub. L. 91–604, § 8(a), 84 Stat. 1694, which is classified to section 7525 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.


2005—Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 109–59 struck out concluding provisions which read as follows: “In the case of a limousine, the preceding sentence shall be applied without regard to clause (ii).”

1994—Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 103–272 substituted “section 32901 of title 49, United States Code,” for “section 501 of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (15 U.S.C. 2001)”.

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, § 11216(a), amended subsec. (a) generally, substituting present provisions for provisions which set forth gas guzzler tax tables in the case of automobiles built in each of the model years 1980 through 1986 and later.

Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 101–508, § 11216(b), inserted at end “In the case of a limousine, the preceding sentence shall be applied without regard to clause (ii).”

Subsec. (b)(5)(B). Pub. L. 101–508, § 11216(c), substituted heading for one which read: “Exception for certain small manufacturers” and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “A person shall not be treated as the manufacturer of any automobile if—

“(i) such person would (but for this subparagraph) be so treated solely by reason of lengthening an existing automobile, and

“(ii) such person is a small manufacturer (as defined in subsection (d)(4)) for the model year in which such lengthening occurs.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–508, § 11216(d), struck out subsec. (d) which prescribed special rules for small manufacturers.

1986—Subsec. (b)(1)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1812(e)(1)(B)(i), substituted “unloaded gross vehicle weight” for “gross vehicle weight”.

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 99–514, § 1812(e)(1)(B)(ii), amended par. (5) generally, designating existing provisions as subpar. (A), adding subpar. (A) heading, and adding subpar. (B).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–59, title XI, § 11111(b), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1946, provided that:

“The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on October 1, 2005.”
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Pub. L. 101–508, title XI, § 11216(e), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–437, provided that:

“(1) Subsections (a) and (b).—
The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section] shall apply to sales after December 31, 1990.
“(2) Subsection (c).—
The amendments made by subsection (c) [amending this section] shall take effect on January 1, 1991.
“(3) Subsection (d).—
The amendment made by subsection (d) [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this section [Nov. 5, 1990].”
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–514, title XVIII, § 1812(e)(1)(B)(iii), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2837, provided that:

“The amendments made by clauses (i) and (ii) [amending this section] shall take effect as if included in the amendments made by section 201 of Public Law 95–618 [see Effective Date note below]; except that the amendment made by clause (i) shall not apply to any station wagon if—
such station wagon is originally equipped with more than 6 seat belts,
such station wagon was manufactured before November 1, 1985, and
such station wagon is of the 1985 or 1986 model year.”
Effective Date

Pub. L. 95–618, title II, § 201(g), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3184, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, § 2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that:

“The amendments made by this section [enacting this section and amending sections 1016, 4217, 4221, 4222, 4293, and 6416 of this title] shall apply with respect to 1980 and later model year automobiles (as defined in section 4064(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954]).”
Plan Amendments Not Required Until January 1, 1989

For provisions directing that if any amendments made by subtitle A or subtitle C of title XI [§§ 1101–1147 and 1171–1177] or title XVIII [§§ 1800–1899A] of Pub. L. 99–514 require an amendment to any plan, such plan amendment shall not be required to be made before the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 1989, see section 1140 of Pub. L. 99–514, as amended, set out as a note under section 401 of this title.