Rep. Shuster Rules Out Gas Tax Increase to Fund Highway Bill

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said passing a highway bill to pay for the nation’s infrastructure construction and maintenance is a top priority in 2015, however he ruled out a motor fuels tax increase as a means of paying for it.

“The President has ruled out a gas tax, I don't think there's a will in Congress, and the American people don't want it,” Shuster said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.

Despite the comments, incoming Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee John Thune (R-S.D.) said all funding options need to be on the table.

Rep. Shuster added that a vehicle miles tax, which he thinks should be considered as an alternative to increasing the 18.4 cent per-gallon gas tax, also was unworkable.

The current extension of the highway bill expires in May, and discussions already are underway on Capitol Hill as to how to fund a long-term solution to infrastructure funding needs.  Falling fuel prices have renewed calls for increasing the motor fuels taxes.

Rep. Shuster has said that a long-term highway bill may be paid by repatriating offshore corporate taxes or from oil exploration and production offshore on federal lands. 

The current funding law, MAP-21, expired in September. Congress temporarily extended the funding law to May 31. 

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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