Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) reintroduced legislation Feb. 4 to increase the federal gas tax 15-cents per gallon over three years, nearly doubling the tax by 2018. The bill also would increase the diesel tax at the same rate for three years and tie both taxes to inflation.
Passage of H.R. 680, the Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials Act (UPDATE), is considered a longshot as top Republicans dismiss the idea and others call for funding infrastructure through a one-time transition tax on foreign earnings.
The Obama Administration as part of the 2016 budget proposed a six year, $478 billion plan that would boost revenues for the Highway Trust Fund through a one-time, 14 percent repatriation tax.
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Kent.) also are poised to introduce legislation that would lower the federal tax on offshore corporate earnings to generate transportation revenues.
Rep. Blumenhauer said of all the proposals being circulated on Capitol Hill to fund road maintenance and repair, a motor fuels tax increase is the simplest, easiest to pass and the only one giving long-term stability.
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