Posts Tagged ‘gasoline tax’

AAR Calls for Gax Tax Hike, Highway User Fees

February 16, 2019

The Association of American Railroads is calling for an increase in the federal gasoline tax as well as a user-based fee system in an effort to maintain the fiscal viability of the Highway Trust Fund.

The recommendations were contained in the trade group’s national infrastructure priorities for 2019.

Not surprisingly, AAR wants Congress to reject efforts to increase the permissible weight and length limits on trucks. AAR has long opposed increased in those limits.

Other items on the AAR wish list include maintaining a balanced structure of economic regulation, streamlining the infrastructure project permitting process, promoting private partnerships and supporting the Section 130 program to improve grade crossings.

Infrastructure Funding Getting Fresh Look in Congress

February 14, 2019

Senate and House committees have begun to review legislation to provide additional transportation infrastructure.

Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held its first hearing on infrastructure needs.

Among those testifying was Amtrak President Richard Anderson.

The Senate Commerce Committee convened a hearing this week with a similar focus.

Some believe that the need to extend the expiring Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act will serve as an impetus to prod Congress into adopting an infrastructure program.

The law, which expires on Sept. 30, 2020, provides grants and loans for transportation programs.

Another sense of urgency is the condition of the Highway Trust Fund, which is flirting with insolvency.

Funded by the federal gas tax, that has been declining and Congress has diverted $144 billion from general funds since 2008 to keep the HTF going.

The Congressional Budget Office projects the HTF will exhaust its funds in 2021.

Congress has been split on how to infuse cash into the HTF. Some have favored an increase in the gas tax, which has not risen since 1993.

But others are calling for other measures, such as a tax on vehicle miles traveled.

The Trump administration last year suggested raising the gas tax by 25 cents, which might be an indication that the political pressure against raising it is abating.

Gas Tax Hike Idea Dividing Public

February 28, 2018

The prospect of raising the federal gasoline tax has drawn mixed reviews, the Quinnipiac University poll found.

Although 46 percent think it is a good idea, 44 percent think it is a bad one. Unlike many policy proposals, there is no sharp partisan split.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans, 49 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents believe raising the gas tax helpful in paying for infrastructure projects involving railroads, bridges and roads.

Congress last increased the gasoline tax in the 1993 and some have been floating the idea of increasing it again.

The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from February 16-19 and surveyed 1,249 voters. The survey has a 3.4-percentage-point margin of error.