Shuster Releases Infrastructure Plan

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has introduced an infrastructure plan that would be paid for in part by an increase in fuel taxes.

Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) said his plan would result in significant federal investment in infrastructure projects and grant programs at least through 2021 and also bolster the sagging Highway Trust Fund.

The plan would raise federal user fees on gasoline and diesel fuel by 15 cents per gallon and 20 cents per gallon, respectively with the tax hikes phased in over three years.

Once the phase-in is completed, the user fees would be indexed to inflation, then zeroed out in 2028.

As a way of reforming the highway trust fund, Shuster wants to see the creation of a panel of experts to study and recommend solutions to ensure the fund’s long-term solvency.

Shuster’s plan also would establish a national, voluntary pilot program to test the viability of replacing current HTF user fees with a per-mile user fee.

Legislation reflecting the plan will be introduced in the coming weeks and months.

Shuster said he developed his proposal in consultation with members of both major political parties.

“This discussion draft does not represent a complete and final infrastructure bill,” Shuster said in a statement. “It is meant to reignite discussions amongst my colleagues.

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