Congress Should Reject Gas Tax Hike
(Washington, D.C.) – As Congress prepares to consider multi-year legislation to reauthorize and fund federal transportation programs, lawmakers are trying to determine how best to pay for this legislation. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that transportation spending in the years ahead will outpace federal gas tax revenues by about $15 billion annually. This is partly due to the growing popularity of hybrids and electric vehicles, which use less gas and therefore generate less tax revenue. In the face of the projected shortfall, more are calling for a gas tax increase. New leaders in the Senate appear open to these proposals.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“Increasing gas taxes should not be the go-to idea – especially as it will hit poor and middle-income families hardest. Today millions of working Americans are struggling to feed their families, pay the rent, put food on the table and pay medical bills. The one bill that people have little control over is their gas bill – as they depend on their car to get them to work or school. The last thing lawmakers should do is force these families to bear the cost of Washington’s inability to get spending under control.
There are better ways to ensure adequate revenues for transportation. The top priority needs to be to cut waste from existing programs. Lawmakers should also look to successful state programs to fund infrastructure without tax increases, and work with states to find ways to ensure that limited dollars go further. Raising taxes needs to be a last resort.”