Proposed Tax Hike Increases Gas Prices 15 Cents a Gallon

The $170 billion raised may not be enough to fix U.S. infrastructure.

by on Dec.06, 2013

A proposed 15-cent a gallon hike in the federal gas tax would help improve the country's infrastructure, according to proponents.

The price of gas may be on the rise again, but this time everyone will know why: the federal gas tax will nearly double if one Congressman’s proposal passes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) is pushing a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the tax 15 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.

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The 15 cents would be phased in five-cent increments during the next three years and add $170 billion during the next 10 years, he said.

“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system – roads, bridges and transit,” Blumenauer said in a recent press conference.

Sadly, that increase may not be enough.

The American Society of Civil Engineers concluded last month that a $2.7 trillion investment in transportation and other infrastructure is needed by 2020 if the United States is to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Three years ago, the Federal Highway Administration estimated that more than $70.9 billion worth of repairs were needed to maintain safe infrastructure.

“The country desperately needs additional funding for infrastructure and, for the moment, there is no better means than the fuel tax,” said Kathleen Bower, AAA’s vice president of public affairs. “The proposed increase is well overdue and in line with what most experts suggest would be appropriate.”

If passed, it would be the first increase since 1993. Blumenauer notes that the state of bridges and highways around the country is deplorable and the lack of money in the Highway Trust Fund, into which the tax revenue flows, has suffered because the tax has not kept pace with inflation and improvements in vehicle fuel economy have reduced consumption, further lowering the amount collected.

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“With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993,” Blumenauer said.

He also notes that Congress has transferred $55 billion from the General Fund into the transportation coffers, which only increases the federal deficit. To keep funding at its current level Congress will need to keep moving $15 billion annually into the transportation budget.

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No one likes more taxes, but there are plenty of organizations supporting the idea, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Parcel Service, the Amalgamated Transit Union, Associated General Contractors of America and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

“Our transportation system is critical to our economy, and Americans value their mobility,” Bower said. “There are no easy answers, and no way to avoid the need for investment. Asking Americans to pay more is not easy, but it’s the right thing to do for the country.”

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6 Responses to “Proposed Tax Hike Increases Gas Prices 15 Cents a Gallon”

  1. inwinger says:

    If they had made the tax a percentage instead of a flat rate we would have a sur!

  2. Marv says:

    I wonder how much 42.8 cents per gallon on diesel would add to the price of items transported? The export of diesel fuel has already increased the price nearly $1.00 above its natural, non-exported levels.

  3. Jorge M. says:

    The exploitation of the populace by the greedy bastards who waste the money on other than what it was intended for. We have a worthless Congress and President who should all resign and their compensation for life should be refunded to tax payers.

  4. kpellette says:

    If we can end these WARS we may have more $$$$ to build these infrastructures.

    Bring troops home to add to our work force and add to our taxes.

    Keep oil in America, more incentives.

    Have All Religious Organizations pay their fair share of TAXES, Starting NOW!

  5. kpellette says:

    OH YES I FORGOT

    VOTE PEOPLE !

  6. xjug1987 says:

    if they need more money they can shut off all the Obama Phones, and start cutting other spending. No more taxes. These filthy bums cannot have any more. They over spend by $1T per year, excuse me, WE DONT HAVE IT! You cannot spend any more so start cutting!! No more TAXES!!!

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