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Executive45

Police To Enforce Fuel Taxation In Arizona

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A lively discussion is occurring on another forum about RVers getting cited for fueling at the wrong pumps in Arizona. One of their ticketed for not using the right diesel pump. Here's the story, in short.

The RV pulled up to a regular station diesel pump and began to re-fuel. He was met by two LEOs from AZDOT who informed him he was not fueling at the correct pump and issued a citation.

Here's why he was cited. Arizona has a two tier diesel fuel tax. 18 cents/gallon for light cars and trucks and 26 cents for heavies. This means, according to Arizona law, any vehicle having more than two axles, OR any vehicle having a GVW in excess of 26,000 pounds MUST refuel ONLY at those pumps having a sticker affixed to them indicating the tax collected is at 26 cents/gallon. He was at a pump with an 18 cent sticker!

I called the AZDOT for confirmation and spoke with a very knowledgeable, informative and pleasant individual in the Arizona Fuel Tax Investigation Division of the Motor Carrier Section. He confirmed that Arizona is stepping up it's enforcement of this law and RVs are NOT EXEMPT. While he was informative, he was also very firm in this area. Apparently, it's pretty easy if one of their enforcement officers sees an RV in a regular service station to simply pull in and check the pump. If you're fueling at the wrong pump you get a citation. IMHO, not a very good way to encourage winter visitors.

Regardless, it appears Arizona needs extra cash in their coffers. While our fuel tanks are large enough to avoid Arizona stations completely, I feel this area of their law needs to be addressed. We all like to save whenever and wherever possible and while 8 cents a gallon won't break the bank, it's an extra cost that's not warranted. Also, this law does not apply to gas coaches, only diesels. It's hard to imagine why two coaches weighing the same, (over 26,000), one gas, one diesel, would be required to pay different tax amounts. What were they thinking....????

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I was surprised by the number of stations I saw this summer in the mid-west with highway diesel and off-road diesel on the same pump but with different nozzles. A person could easily make a mistake in that situation and pump the wrong fuel.

Most states are looking at any way to increase revenue and like a judge told me many years ago, "ignorance of the law and carelessness are no excuse".

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We all like to save whenever and wherever possible and while 8 cents a gallon won't break the bank, it's an extra cost that's not warranted. Also, this law does not apply to gas coaches, only diesels. It's hard to imagine why two coaches weighing the same, (over 26,000), one gas, one diesel, would be required to pay different tax amounts. What were they thinking....????

I keep seeing statements like this and I simply do not understand them. When you fill up in other States you pay taxes as well and you don't ask them to discount your gas 8 cents because you are an RV. Also, there would be an assumption that Gas RV's are not paying taxes. They, of course, are, there's just not a discount for a lighter weight gas RV as there is for a lighter weight diesel vehicle. The tax is applied to heavy duty diesel operated vehicles be they 18 wheelers or RV's and they have very specific requirements to receive this discount. If you do not fall within those parameters you are not entitled to the discount and if you do you are. So, if you have a coach with a tag axle you do not qualify for the discount. If your RV (any diesel vehicle) weighs in excess of 26,000# you do not qualify for the discount. Now, everyone wants to rush off to some other State that does not offer a similar discount just so you can pay that State the same taxes you would have paid in AZ.

If the fact that you don't qualify hurts your feelings, simply buy a smaller RV without a tag and under 26,000# and you can save yourself about $8 per fill up.

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I keep seeing statements like this and I simply do not understand them. When you fill up in other States you pay taxes as well and you don't ask them to discount your gas 8 cents because you are an RV. Also, there would be an assumption that Gas RV's are not paying taxes. They, of course, are, there's just not a discount for a lighter weight gas RV as there is for a lighter weight diesel vehicle. The tax is applied to heavy duty diesel operated vehicles be they 18 wheelers or RV's and they have very specific requirements to receive this discount. If you do not fall within those parameters you are not entitled to the discount and if you do you are. So, if you have a coach with a tag axle you do not qualify for the discount. If your RV (any diesel vehicle) weighs in excess of 26,000# you do not qualify for the discount. Now, everyone wants to rush off to some other State that does not offer a similar discount just so you can pay that State the same taxes you would have paid in AZ.

If the fact that you don't qualify hurts your feelings, simply buy a smaller RV without a tag and under 26,000# and you can save yourself about $8 per fill up.

Bill, I think you missed the point. Assume you have a 26,000 pound coach...if it's gas you pay 18 cents/gal, diesel you pay 26 cents/gal. Why? They will both tear up the roads at the same rate. Which weighs more? a pound of feathers or a pound of lead? They both weigh a pound, so there's no difference....So your argument that heavy duty diesels are somehow heavier than a gasser weighing the same doesn't hold water. I'm not going to get my knickers in a bunch over $8 bucks, but the law is unfair to RVers the way it's written. The issue is more with the citations they''ve begun to write than the $8. The citations can exceed $1,000/violation. The RVing community needs to be aware of this issue in Arizona.,,my feelings aren't hurt, I use the truck pumps at Flying J so I'm good. ,,just sayin....Dennis

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You must draw a line somewhere. No, 26,000 or 26,001 make no difference but you can't make rules that cover every possible scenario. It also is NOT an RVer issue. It's a size issue. Some will twist it to show favor to their opinion but that's just not the case. There is no law in place that applies to RVers only and many owners with large or small vehicles either find this to be an advantage or not. The AZ tax on fuel is 26 cents per gallon. However, AZ offers a discount (not a penalty) to diesel fuel users with light weight vehicles. Maybe this was originally meant to promote the use of diesel engines in light weight vehicles. I don't know and I would speculate that you do not either. However, it's the reality and what you can do is not pay the AZ tax (27 cents including excise) or CA 38 cents, NM 22.875, TX 20.0, NV 27.75, UT 24.5. No matter where you fuel you will be paying a lot of tax. If you don't pay what the State charges then move on to the next State. If you live in AZ and you don't like the tax, vote out the law makers. If you don't live in the State vote with your wallet. Which State do you want to pay taxes to? They are not going to be avoided. By the way, CT charges 54.9 cents per gallon. I wonder why I have not seen anyone complaining about this?

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Thank you Executive 45. I'll be traveling through Arizona in about a month and if I wasn't aware of this I might just pick up the wrong hose and get ticketed. The main point here is that there is a potential for confusion and out-of-state motorists may well make an innocent mistake if they aren't carefully watching for the difference in the two hoses. It helps to have this information on the forum, everyone reading should be able to avoid a ticket.

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In my younger days, I drove a 6 wheel truck to several states neighboring Alabama. If you had a plate that wasn't Mississippi in that state, you had to prove that you had bought sufficient fuel in that state to cross it, this meant even if you just crossed the border, then turned around and crossed back out. Yes Brett, I was wondering about the 26,000# gasser also.

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Oh humm high fuel tax, stop in the state of WA and pay .375 state .244 federal = .619 cents combine state and federal tax per gallon. I'm leaving in the morning for Fairview, OR and may get a better deal there but if I need fuel on the way I will stop and get it.

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If you are real keen to avoid Az tax, come on up to BC. If you buy your fuel within the metro Vancouver are, your tax bite will be 33.67 cents per litre. with your US gal being equal to 3.78 litres, this translates to $1.27 per gal. correcting for our $.90 dollar, you will pay only $1.1454 per US gallon.

If you avoid the metro Vancouver area, you might save the Translink bite of $.17/L, reducing your tax bite to $.2267/L.

Seems like you guys in AZ have it pretty easy.

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I travel through B.C. last summer so I know what your talking about Koliver. Lots of people come from your area to shop here in WA and if they have the time go to OR for tax free shopping. Most fill their tanks before going back through the boarder.

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Sorry, I am lost here-- gas coaches weighing in excess of 26,000 pounds???

The AZ tax discount applies to diesel fuel only.

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Bill,

Understood. But some of the posts were suggesting that it was unfair to "penalize" visa via different tax rates based on weight on diesels but not gas.

Since this only applies to coaches that weigh over 26,000 pounds, I believe it is a moot point. I am not aware of any gas coaches over 26,000 pounds!

No, I have no comment on the thread other than that.

Brett

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TButler seems to be the only one who got the reason for this discussion. I could care less about $8 extra to fill my tank. Peanuts, in the scheme of things.

The point of the thread is this: Arizona has decided to step up enforcement of fueling at the WRONG pump, and they appear to be targeting RVers. They simply place these small stickers on the pumps and it's up to the person refueling to ensure they're at the right one. The reason for this post is to simply make everyone AWARE so they don't inadvertently fuel at the wrong pump and get a TICKET with a HUGE FINE attached....safe travels everyone.

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The problem that I see with this enforcement is that it requires that you go to a truck stop for fuel. At the local fuel stops, ALL of the pumps have the notice on them, so ALL of the pumps are 'illegal'. If they had separate pumps, and marked them, it would be fine. As others mentioned, a few cents difference isn't the problem, it is the availability of fuel.

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We own a Class A 1998 30' Beaver Monterey with a 3126 Cat pusher. It scales right at 23,000 pounds with all tanks filled. Are the boys in blue carrying portable scales? If not, I would imagine that I would weigh 26,000 or more in their eyes. I was just doing some research on places to go park near LV for the Nascar west tour next spring. Might have to find another place to leave our money. Leave it to greedy politicians to spoil the fun.

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Chevracer,

Seems the simple answer to your problem would be to run through the local truck scales and get a recent weight ticket and keep it handy if there are any questions. Last time I weighed at a truck stop it cost about $7.

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GVW has nothing to do with actual weight. Our fully loaded coach is about 24,500 pounds, but the GVW sticker is 32,000; therefore, I would be subject to the higher tax.

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GVW has nothing to do with actual weight. Our fully loaded coach is about 24,500 pounds, but the GVW sticker is 32,000; therefore, I would be subject to the higher tax.

Actually GVW= Gross Vehicle Weight. I read this as "what the coach weights". Meaning a weight slip is proof unless they want to weight the coach.

GVWR= Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

Note: I am NOT familiar with their rule, just defining well-recognized terms.

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Interesting subject on the tax difference. I always pull into the truck section. I have not found to many stations that have RV pumps on the gas islands that can accomodate my 40' plus tow. I just don't take the chance that I'll have to unhook to back out once I make the decisions to drive in.

Yesterday, even in the truck lane, I pulled up and the pump was out of service. Howver, there was an 18 wheeler that was parked as if it had just pulled out of there. I had to wait 15 minutes for that trucker to come out and move his rig so I could drive through and pull into a servicable pump.

With that said, whatever the trucker lanes are selling fuel for that is what I am pumping. I'm sure that at one time passing through AZ I may have been at the wrong pump. I never noticed it. I will no be aware of looking for that sticker. I don't think it will change my mind if I'm needing diesel fuel.

Personally I think it is stupid to not be able to select at a pump and have the system recognize the type of fuel you want. At the PFJ I press "Tractor Fuel."

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Swipe your Pilot/Flying J card at the truck pumps and you get the discount! Now you just have to decide if you want to do that or not.

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Here is the legal wording:

The Arizona tax on gasoline (motor vehicle fuel) is 18¢ per gallon. Use fuel (diesel) is taxed at two rates in Arizona.

  • If the use fuel is used in the propulsion of a use class motor vehicle on a highway in this state, the tax rate is 26¢ for each gallon.
    • A "use class motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that uses use fuel on a highway in this state and that is a road tractor, truck tractor, truck or passenger carrying vehicle having a declared gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds or having more than two axles.
  • If the use fuel is used in the propulsion of a light class motor vehicle (such as a pickup truck) or an exempt vehicle (certain school buses, government and non-profit vehicles, see 28-5432.C) on a highway in this state, the use fuel is taxed at the same rate per gallon as the motor vehicle fuel tax (18¢ per gallon). (See 28-5601, 5605, 5606.)

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I called ADOT a couple of years ago on this subject. I talked to a lady, that told me to check my registration to see if it a weight listed on. I told her it had no weight listed, she said I was legal to fuel at the RV pump. (I failed to get her name). I will call again when I get there this year. Bur

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