Congressman proposes federal gas tax increase to pay for infrastructure
- A Democratic congressman from Oregon has introduced a bill that would increase funding for infrastructure by raising the federal gas tax by one cent a year, according to The Washington Post.
- Rep. Peter A. DeFazio said the penny increase to the existing tax of 18.4 cents could add as much as $17 billion annually to funding for the nation's transportation systems.
- The gas tax hasn't been raised in almost 25 years, which DeFazio said is one of the reasons the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which gets refueled by gas-tax revenue, hasn’t been able to keep pace with the demand for infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
Lawmakers have struggled to agree on ways to fund necessary improvements to the country's highways, roads and bridges. During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump touted a $1 trillion infrastructure program, focused on leveraging private investment, but the 2018 budget proposal he unveiled last week cut funding for long-standing capital investment programs. Trump said those reductions would be made up in his own infrastructure program, but his administration has not yet provided any details on that yet.
According to an American Society of Civil Engineers report earlier this month, it would take $4.6 trillion by 2025 to perform the necessary U.S. infrastructure improvements, an increase of $1 trillion since the ASCE last calculated that need in 2013. At the time of that report, the ASCE said lawmakers had only come up with $1.88 trillion and that the gap would cost millions of American jobs and trillions in gross domestic product.
- The Washington Post Is it worth a penny more at the pump to support roads, bridges, transit?
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