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Is An Increase In The Federal Gas Tax On The Horizon?

May 19, 2017

President Donald Trump, in a recent interview with Bloomberg News, said he would consider an increase in the “Gas Tax” to help pay for highway construction and repairs around the country. The federal government currently finances the Highway Trust Fund with an 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and a 24.4 cents per gallon tax on diesel fuel, neither of which has been increased since 1993 (24 years).

To keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent, Congress has added more than $143 billion in funding since 2008. Highway-related tax revenue raised just $37.4 billion in fiscal 2015, meaning that maintenance has been deferred as potholes and traffic jams have worsened.

According to the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, a 35 cent per gallon increase in fuel taxes would raise an additional $473.6 billion over the next decade.

The White House has said that the President was only considering raising fuel taxes after hearing input from the trucking industry, some of whom felt the savings in travel time and vehicle repair would be more than the increased fuel costs for the industry, which accounts for approximately half of all revenue raised through the fuel tax.