Motorists, brace yourselves: two senators have again brought forward a plan to raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for the first time since 1993 as the federal Highway Trust Fund is poised to go broke in August.
The idea, pitched by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) and Bob Corker (R- Tennessee), would mean raising the current 18.4 cent per gallon federal tax on gasoline and 24.4 cent per gallon federal tax on diesel each by 12 cents per gallon over the next two years, then would tie increases to the rate of inflation. The increase would come in two rounds of 6 cents each.
While the plan raises the federal taxes on fuels, it would also cut other taxes by extending their expiration, but the senators said they are open to other ideas, too. After the plan was made public, it was lauded by transportation advocacy groups who were hoping to keep the Highway Trust Fund alive, but comes at a time when Congress has seen much gridlock and little progress on major issues.
But while an increase may be necessary, Congress simply hasn't yet digested a U.S. fleet that is becoming more fuel efficient, thus punishing those who drive heavier vehicles, or in many cases older vehicles that aren't as fuel efficient.
What do you think- should politicians look to raise gasoline taxes to fix and fund infrastructure repair and improvements?