Broad Tax Reform Could Open Door to Fuel Tax Increase

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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said last week that an increase in the federal fuel tax could be included in a broader tax reform package.

The tax, which hasn't been increased since 1993, is viewed by many transportation industry groups, including NATSO and the American Trucking Associations, as the most viable way to increase revenues for highway infrastructure projects. Until recently, such proposals met with strong resistance from lawmakers who said there was no political will to increase taxes. Now, however, Rep. Shuster said larger tax reform packages may present opportunities to raise the federal motor fuel tax.

A handful of state legislatures, including Washington, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Vermont, already have proposed increasing state motor fuel taxes to generate infrastructure revenues. Last week, a bill also was introduced in the Nevada Senate, SB377, seeking to increase the motor fuel tax by 2 cents, to 19.65 cents per gallon, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The bill also calls for annual increases of 2 cents per gallon until 2023. Similar taxes imposed on special fuels and liquefied petroleum, and compressed gas would also increase by 2 cents per gallon each year for the next 10 years. A new study issued by the Utah Foundation also is calling for the state to increase its motor fuel taxes.

Wyoming was the first state this year to raise its fuel tax, raising its tax to 24 cents per gallon from 14 cents on Feb. 15.

 

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This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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Photo Credit: Ira Wexler/NATSO

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