ADOT participates in joint-agency inspection of fuel distribution locations and gas stations

ADOT Enforcement Officer

ADOT participated in a multiagency enforcement detail last month that focused on retail gas stations.

Ever hear of something called meter creep?

Meter creep occurs when a gas pump meter charges for fuel when no fuel is actually coming out of the pump. Meter jump occurs after the pump nozzle turns off and the meter shows gas is still flowing. The cause of the meter creep and jump is generally related to a maintenance or calibration error with the pump. Both equipment errors may result in consumers paying for gas they do not receive.

Interesting bit trivia, right? Wonder why we’re blogging about it?

Well, under a federal grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration, a multiagency enforcement detail was conducted on the Navajo Nation in both Arizona and New Mexico on July 9-11, 2013. The enforcement detail focused on determining if retail gas stations are adhering to the federal, state and Navajo Nation rules, laws and regulations governing taxation and quality of fuel sold for use in motor vehicles (see photos above).

ADOT participated in the detail along with the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures, Office of the Navajo Tax Commission, Navajo Nation Business Regulatory Department, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

Personnel from the Office of the Navajo Tax Commission headed the five teams that conducted the inspections in several areas of the Navajo Nation reservation.

checking regulations at fuel station

Enforcement details further enhance enforcement of Arizona and federal rules and regulations.

The purpose of the detail was to present a visual enforcement personnel presence to ensure motor fuels are being delivered to retail outlets with proper shipping documents, motor fuel tax revenues are collected and properly reported, the fuel is at the stated octane level, required licenses are in place and properly displayed, the dispensing or fuel metering is exact and the correct labels are affixed to the pumps.

A sixth team was designated specifically to visually inspect all diesel-powered vehicles (both private and commercial) for approved highway usage of “Red Dye” diesel, a fuel primarily for off-highway use in agricultural machinery.

Conducting the required inspection and testing of retail fuel pumps helps to protect consumers from meter creep or jump.

More about fuel taxes

Arizona Revised Statutes Titles 28 and 41, and Section 900 of the Navajo Fuel Excise Tax Statutes provide the statutory authority, regulations, rules and laws governing motor vehicle fuel taxes and inspection of retail stations. Since 1999, the state of Arizona and the Office of the Navajo Tax Commission have partnered together through an intergovernmental tax agreement relating to the enforcement of the fuel excise tax.

ADOT’s participation in the on-site inspections and audits of the retail stations, carriers, distributors, and refiners strengthens the Navajo Nation’s ability to ensure regulatory and tax compliance. The details further enhance enforcement of Arizona and federal rules and regulations.

Fuel taxes, mandated by law, are the primary funding source for maintaining Arizona’s highway system. Ensuring tax collection compliance is essential but equally important is ensuring that the laws are applied equitably and accurately.