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Petroleum Product Tax Options for World War II

This is a February 1942 analysis by the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis of the pros and cons of a variety of potential excise tax increases on gasoline, fuel oil, lubricating oil, and other petroleum products. The analysis weighs the need for extra federal revenue to fight the war against the need to conserve petroleum, rubber, and other war materiel and how taxes dovetailed with the rationing of those products.

The Roosevelt Administration eventually recommended that Congress double the gasoline tax, from 1.5 cents per gallon to 3.0 cents per gallon, but Congress rejected that request (however, Congress did increase the lubricating oil tax).

Source: National Archives, College Park.

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