Who hasn’t driven down a bumpy, pothole-filled road and wondered where their taxpayer dollars are going? In 2018 alone, highway and road repairs across the U.S. totaled a whopping $145.33 billion—but that hasn’t been enough to keep up with the nation’s ailing transportation infrastructure. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads—along with 45,000 bridges—are in poorly maintained condition. States usually charge motorist taxes to pay for the construction and maintenance of these roads.

To determine which states depended the most on taxes for roadway maintenance projects, Jerry compiled data from local and state government finance sources, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Tax Foundation, an independent, nonprofit tax policy institute that uses figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. States that have more highway repairs needed than they have tax income to fund often turn to other additional taxes to make up the difference.

Variables like inflation and the popularity of electric cars are throwing a wrench into states’ highway funding plans. In addition, newer cars, which were once reliable sources of revenue in the past, now have better fuel economy, decreasing the amount of fuel-related taxes that states can collect. Looking ahead, many federal and state legislators are exploring a vehicle miles traveled tax, according to the Tax Foundation. This alternative approach is based on the number of miles a motor vehicle user travels instead of how much they spend on fuel. Though it would bring in more revenue, it also raises alarm bells regarding taxpayers’ privacy. 

The four states that managed to raise 100% for their road-related costs through charges and tolls, licensing fees, and motor fuel taxes are California, Tennessee, Montana, and Indiana. Not surprisingly, California’s expenditures dwarf the others, with the Golden State spending $12 billion on roadway maintenance. Tennessee and Indiana spent about $1.6 billion for their shares of highway expenditures and Montana came in at less than $500 million.

Among all four states, the largest amount of taxpayer money came in the form of motor fuel tax revenues. Indiana sourced 78% of its infrastructure revenue from gas taxes, with Tennessee (67%), Montana (57%), and California (53%) following behind. The other funding sources include licensing revenue and tolls.

On the other side of the spectrum are the states where taxpayer money accounted for only a small share of their highway spending. These include Alaska, where only 17% of highway spending was sourced from state infrastructure revenue, and North Dakota, where it was only 29%. To make up for their shortfall, both of these states turn to revenue from severance taxes, which are levied when natural resources like oil and natural gas are extracted from the state.

When it comes to size, Wyoming taxpayers, who live in the least populated state, contributed 58%, or $409 million, to their state infrastructure expenses. By comparison, the two most populous states after California are New York and Texas. New Yorkers contributed 60%, or $13 billion, to the total cost of maintaining their roadway while Texans kicked in 74%, or $11 billion. All of these states must turn to other sources for funding, such as revenue collected from other levies or the federal government.

Below are the state infrastructure revenue and highway spending numbers for every state and Washington, D.C. Using 2018 figures from a Tax Foundation study, the following data does not include contributions to the individual states and Washington D.C. from the federal government, only those portions for which the states themselves are responsible. Those states that raised more than 100% of their highway- and road-related costs were ranked according to the percentage that exceeded the full portion raised. Any ties in the rankings are the result of rounding the figures.

Highways outside of Washington D.C.
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#51. Washington D.C.


– District’s highway spending in 2018: $433.2 Million
– District infrastructure tax revenues: $66.5 Million
– Amount of district’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 15%

Downtown traffic in Anchorage, Alaska
Jay Juno // Shutterstock

#50. Alaska


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.05 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $180.8 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 17%

A road in Fargo, North Dakota
Guy William // Shutterstock

#49. North Dakota


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.15 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $335.8 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 29%

Highway 89 in Vermont during autumn
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#48. Vermont


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $452.6 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $158.2 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 35%

A scenic road in Utah
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#47. Utah


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.67 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $736.7 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 44%

A highway in Little Rock, Arkansas
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#46. Arkansas


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.48 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $665.8 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 45%

A road in Wisconsin
Canva

#45. Wisconsin


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.94 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.78 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 45%

Heavy traffic on an interstate highway in Stamford, Connecticut
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#44. Connecticut


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.62 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $734.9 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 45%

A highway in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, during early morning
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#43. Rhode Island


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $316.4 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $147.3 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 47%

Interstate 80 as seen from the overlook at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument Museum in Kearney, Nebraska
Sandra Foyt // Shutterstock

#42. Nebraska


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.32 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $618.3 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 47%

Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, skyline and interstate highway 35W
Mark Herreid // Shutterstock

#41. Minnesota


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $4.15 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.96 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 47%

Pigtail Bridge along the Needles Highway in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#40. South Dakota


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $666.3 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $315.5 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 47%

Highway leading into downtown Mobile, Alabama
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#39. Alabama


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $2.10 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.01 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 48%

A road running through the Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, Nevada
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#38. Nevada


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.72 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $836.0 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 49%

Cars in a traffic jam
Krasula // Shutterstock

#37. Mississippi


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.23 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $623.3 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 51%

An aerial view Highway 90 in the suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana
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#36. Louisiana


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.40 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $768.6 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 55%

I-80 highway in Iowa
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#35. Iowa


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $2.41 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.36 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 56%

The road fleading rom Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
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#34. Wyoming


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $409.8 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $238.3 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 58%

Loop 101 and I-17 interchange in Phoenix, Arizona
Tim Roberts Photography // Shutterstock

#33. Arizona


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.90 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.12 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 59%

The FDR highway leading into numerous Manhattan skyscrapers in New York City
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#32. New York


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $13.03 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $7.84 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 60%

Interstate 77/81 in southwest Virgina
LisaCarter // Shutterstock

#31. Virginia


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $4.48 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.76 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 61%

Richmond Road in Lexington, Kentucky
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#30. Kentucky


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.57 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $994.1 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 63%

Traffic going towards the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado
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#29. Colorado


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $2.77 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.78 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 64%

Cars driving over Linn Cove Viaduct, Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
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#28. North Carolina


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $4.64 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.99 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 65%

A bike cyclist riding downhill along Cadillac Mountain Road in Acadia National Park, Maine
inarts // Shutterstock

#27. Maine


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $785.5 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $513.0 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 65%

A state highway in Kansas
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#26. Kansas


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.30 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $852.3 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 66%

 

Lush farmland roads flowing around Raystown Lake, in Pennsylvania
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#25. Pennsylvania


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $9.08 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $6.00 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 66%

Traffic in downtown Charleston, West Virginia
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#24. West Virginia


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $846.4 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $559.9 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 66%

Cars and trucks driving in and out of te downtown city center of Kansas City, Missouri
Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

#23. Missouri


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.56 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.06 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 68%

The Indiana/Ohio border where cars enter Ohio while traveling east on Interstate 70
Brian Kapp // Shutterstock

#22. Ohio


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $4.61 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $3.16 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 69%

Downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#21. New Hampshire


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $586.8 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $419.1 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 71%

The intersection of highway 290 and highway 90 in downtown Chicago
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#20. Illinois


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $6.35 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $4.59 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 72%

A highway road in South Carolina
Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#19. South Carolina


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.64 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.21 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 74%

Complex highway system in San Antonio, Texas
Regan Bender // Shutterstock

#18. Texas


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $11.54 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $8.59 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 74%

Atlanta highway traffic
Brett Barnhill // Shutterstock

#17. Georgia


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.04 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.29 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 75%

A highway leading into Baltimore, Maryland
Suraju Kehinde // Shutterstock

#16. Maryland


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.07 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.35 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 76%

Oregon Coast Highway near Cannon Beach, Oregon
Gordon Montgomery // Shutterstock

#15. Oregon


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.58 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.23 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 78%

A highway leading into Miami
O.Malikoff // Shutterstock

#14. Florida


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $9.15 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $7.26 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 79%

Methuen Street at Appleton Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts
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#13. Massachusetts


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $2.82 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.24 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 79%

A scenic road in New Mexico
Melanie Hobson // Shutterstock

#12. New Mexico


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $572.0 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $460.4 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 80%

Interstate highway traffic flowing around Detroit, Michigan
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#11. Michigan


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.56 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $2.91 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 82%

Pony Bridge on Route 66 in Oklahoma
Nick Fox // Shutterstock

#10. Oklahoma


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.93 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.59 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 82%

Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho
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#9. Idaho


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $735.0 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $611.8 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 83%

A road in Maui
Nadia Borisevich // Shutterstock

#8. Hawaii


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $700.2 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $588.6 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 84%

Donald Goodkind Bridge crossing over Raritan River in New Jersey
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#7. New Jersey


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.98 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $3.38 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 85%

Highway signs on Interstate 95 in Wilmington, Delaware
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#6. Delaware


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $583.6 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $515.0 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 88%

Seattle interstate freeways
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#5. Washington


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $3.72 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $3.53 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 95%

San Francisco's Rincon Hill with the western approach to the Bay Bridge in the foreground
Mark Schwettmann // Shutterstock

#4. California


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $12.03 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $11.99 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 100%

A road winding through Tennessee
Valerie Ann Ayres // Shutterstock

#3. Tennessee


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.60 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.61 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 100%

Traffic in the downtown area of Helena, Montana
Michael Gordon // Shutterstock

#2. Montana


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $433.6 Million
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $446.7 Million
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 100%

Traffic near a mall in Greenwood, Indiana
Shadowspeeder // Shutterstock

#1. Indiana


– State’s highway spending in 2018: $1.61 Billion
– State infrastructure tax revenues: $1.81 Billion
– Amount of state’s highway spending funded by motorist taxes: 100%

This story originally appeared on Jerry and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.