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tax formThere are many goods and services which the government provides for us which individuals do not need to pay for directly. An example is your school.

We are accustomed to using many goods and services without thinking how much it really costs. Each day, you probably come to school on government provided roads.

Working people give a share of their income to the government and this share is called a tax. When we buy something we also pay a little bit more than the price tag says ? it is called a tax too. Thus, the gas tax pays the construction and maintenance of the roads.


In this lesson you will identify goods and services provided by the government, evaluate the cost of government provided goods and services, and demonstrate that citizens pay for the goods and services that their government provides.


Activity 1

Explore the Department of Transportation Finance Page ( and answer the following questions:

Look at Section 1 (Highway Account Revenues Table and Pie Chart)

  1. List the seven places where the government gets the money for the roads.


  1. Where does the majority of the income come from?
  2. How much comes from that source?
  3. What percentage of the income is from Truck and Trailer Sales?

Look at Section 2 (Federal Obligations Table and Pie Chart)

  1. What are the three largest expenses that the government paid for with roads in 1999?
  2. What percentage was spent on emergency relief?

Look at Section 3 (What It's Used For Table and Chart)

  1. How much was spent on Bridge Replacement and Bridge Rehabilitation combined?
  2. If your parents needed to drive you to and from school every day for a week, how much would they have to pay in gasoline taxes (a gallon of gas lasts 10 miles)? If you're not sure how far it is from your house to school, use )

Activity 2

Now it's your turn to decide how to spend the government's tax money, click here to complete this activity.


Place the following steps in order by creating a flow-chart:

  • Tax is charged
  • Government pays people to build and maintain roads
  • Government decides how to spend the tax money
  • People buy Gasoline
  • Government collects taxes

Define tax and taxpayers.

Answer the following question. Explain your answer using 3 or 4 complete sentences.

Who really pays for the roads?


  1. Visit these pages and determine: ·

How many miles of Interstate are there in the United States?

How much money is put into Interstate maintenance and new Interstate highways each year?

What is the cost per mile for maintaining Interstate roads each year?

How did you figure that out?

Plan a trip to any place in the United States using Calculate how many miles they would have to drive and how much money you would have to spend to the maintenance of the roads.

  1. Look at the Interstate System Facts found at

Choose one of the tables and turn it into a graph (pie chart, pictogram, line graph) and explain why you chose that particular method of depicting the information in the table.