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Gas Tax Has Tough Time Igniting Supporters

| January 25, 2015

Gas prices

As gas prices continue to spiral downwards, dropping below $2.00 a gallon in some parts of the U.S., the country as a whole still seems to have little appetite for raising the gas tax.

Most understand the need: to help finance the maintenance and repair of our nation’s aging roads and public transit systems.

Some had hoped that falling gas prices would ignite the notion of raising the gas tax, which might very well be of the most efficient ways to pay for transportation repairs and upgrades.

The timing would seem to be auspicious. In fact, the Energy Information Administration estimates that the average American household will spend at least $550 less on gasoline in 2015 than it did in 2014.

So, when was the he last time the gasoline tax was raised?

The year was in 1993, and that 4.3-cent-a-gallon increase was not initially dedicated to transportation repair and capital improvements, but rather was part of President Clinton’s budget-deficit reduction plan. In 1997, that revenue stream was redirected to the federal Highway Trust Fund.

What’s more, if the gas tax had kept pace with inflation it would be more than 30 cents today.

A result is that the trust fund is facing an estimated $160 billion deficit over the next 10 years.

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Category: Fuel and Oil, Regulatory

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