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Endorsing Higher Fuel Taxes

Posted in: Our Legislative and Regulatory Issues

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) took the idea of higher fuel taxes off the table as a means of generating funds for a long-term highway bill during a Feb. 4 transportation panel in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Shuster said economically, it’s not the time. “I just don’t believe the American people have the will out there, in the public or in Congress, even our President has said we’re not going to do that. We’ve got to figure out a different way at this point in time,” he said.

The statements took many in the transportation community by surprise, precisely because support for a motor fuels tax increase is growing.

Trucking companies, manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, truck drivers, and countless others have asked Congress and the President to increase the federal fuel tax – something that hasn’t happened since 1993.  

If Congress had tied the gas and diesel tax rates to inflation and gains in fuel economy beginning in 1997, today we would have raised an additional $215 billion for infrastructure. That’s more than double the $100 billion in additional tax receipts needed now for a six-year surface transportation bill.  

It isn’t every day that businesses ask for a tax increase. But that’s exactly what is happening.

Hopefully, Capitol Hill will listen.

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About the Author

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

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.