One day before President Donald Trump and Democratic Congressional leaders are scheduled to discuss ways to pay for a 2$ trillion infrastructure plan, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) plans to introduce a bill to increase the excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel by 5 cents a year for the next five years and then index them to inflation.
The measure also calls for abandoning the motor fuels tax in favor of a different but unspecified revenue mechanism. It states that "by 2029 the gas tax should be repealed and replaced with a more sustainable, stable funding source."
Increasing the gas tax by 5 cents would put it at 23.3 cents per gallon in 2020 and 43.3 cents per gallon after 2023. The diesel tax would be at 29.3 cents per gallon in 2020 and 49.3 cents per gallon after 2023. After 2024, the figures would be adjusted for inflation.
NATSO on May 15 held its annual Washington fly-in, with 65 truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators from across the country traveling to the nation's capital to advocate for long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding, such as increasing the federal motor fuels taxes.
NATSO has long held that increasing the federal motor fuels tax represents the most efficient way to increase infrastructure revenues. NATSO strongly opposes such revenue schemes as tolling and commercializing rest areas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on April 30 met with President Trump during which they agreed to work together on a $2 trillion infrastructure package. The key question of funding wasn’t discussed, however, and they are scheduled to renew discussions May 22.
As of May 20, little was known about the meeting scheduled for May 22, including participants.
Although lawmakers on both sides are generally in favor of an infrastructure bill, the April meeting between Democrats and the President renewed longstanding disagreements among lawmakers over how to pay for it and resulted in a flood of media coverage in which lawmakers debated various funding options.
Lawmakers from both parties have said that any funding mechanism will need the support of the President to move forward. Politico reported May 20 that White House aides have said that President Trump has no plans to hike the gas tax. However, lawmakers have said previously that the President has privately acknowledged that he would support an increase in the motor fuels taxes.
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