Republican Senator David Vitter (R-La.) said Feb. 25 that he would be open to increasing the federal motor fuels tax to fund transportation projects provided the hike was offset by a cut somewhere in the nation’s tax code.
Speaking during the Senate and Environment and Public Works Committee’s second hearing on the need for a long-term transportation reauthorization, Sen. Vitter said, “The traditional gas tax, increasing that in my opinion, that needs to include an tax offset for middle-class families so everyone except the very wealthy don’t pay more federal taxes.”
In January, Sen. Vitter laid out what he considers to be three viable options for fixing shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund: a gas tax increase coupled with some other tax cut, repatriation or additional domestic energy production.
Sen. EPW Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) slammed proposals to eliminate the gas tax, or devolution, saying that interstate commerce doesn’t stop at state boundaries. “No state is an island,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Senate EPW ranking member Barbara Boxer lambasted the revenue committees for not moving faster on a long-term surface transportation bill.
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