Tags: gop | gas tax | infrastructure

GOP Mulls Higher Gas Tax to Pay for Infrastructure

Image: GOP Mulls Higher Gas Tax to Pay for Infrastructure
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By    |   Monday, 12 February 2018 08:44 AM

Republicans are looking into raising the federal gas tax to pay for President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan, the Washington Examiner reported.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on the Trump administration to raise the gas tax by 25 cents a gallon and projected that increase could bring in more than $375 billion over a decade, the Examiner reported.

"The gas tax is a pact with the public, if spent properly, that says when you buy gasoline, we charge you money and spend all of it on the roads and bridges you are driving," Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told the newspaper.

"It's more palatable to constituents. People are upset about the wasteful government spending they see in Washington, D.C. But generally, they are not upset about money spent on infrastructure. So, you have to consider those two things differently," Massie added.

However, Massie noted the political risk for Republicans of voting for a tax increase. "There is no way I would say I am openly for a gas tax increase. I am not saying never. I am not drawing a red line," Massie told the Examiner.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urged the gas tax increase at the recent GOP retreat, the Examiner reported.

However, Republicans note that a gas tax increase could be perceived poorly after the recent lowering of corporate and income taxes, the Examiner reported.

"To immediately put an increased gas tax on the backs of hardworking Americans, especially when they are now getting a tax benefit, I don't see how we can do that," said Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., in the Examiner.

The federal gas tax has not increased since 1993, which has led to more than 25 states raising their gas taxes since 2013, the Examiner reported. "Not one politician has been thrown out of office for voting to increase the gas tax," said Ray LaHood, who was a secretary of transportation during the Barack Obama administration, the Examiner reported.

Massie and Reed said the gas tax could become obsolete as more cars move away from gasoline and diesel fuel.

"We can be creative and develop the next generation of user fees" such as vehicle registration tax and a carbon tax, Reed said in the Examiner.

Organizations backed by the political network of Charles and David Koch sent a letter in January urging the Trump administration not to raise gas taxes.

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Republicans are looking into raising the federal gas tax to pay for President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan.
gop, gas tax, infrastructure
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2018-44-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 08:44 AM
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