Senate Should Reject Proposed Gas Tax Increase
Low-income Individuals Hardest Hit by Surging Transportation Costs
(Washington, D.C.) – The White House is reportedly open to a gas tax increase proposed last week by two prominent Senators. The plan would raise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel for the first time since 1993, and is intended to fund a deficit in the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to run out of money in August. This push comes after the House had proposed a bill to fund infrastructure for 6 years without new or increased taxes.
In this weak economy many are concerned with the idea of raising taxes on essentials like gasoline. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that average Americans spend approximately 17 percent of their income on transportation while those in lower-income households are particularly affected. Those earning $30,000 or less annually spend an estimated 24 percent of their income on transportation. Rising cost of living and inflation paint a worrisome picture for low-income individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet, and whose expenses outpace their income. Hispanics – who disproportionately fall into low or middle-income categories – would be among those must hurt by this increase.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"The economic reality facing many Americans is a pretty bleak one. Families are struggling to make ends meet, and many are already skipping the family vacation this summer as gas prices continue to rise. Yet the Senate is looking to embark on a misguided journey to raise taxes on gasoline rather than find a responsible way to fund national priorities. Federal taxes are at unprecedented historic highs. If Washington raises taxes again – on the backs of middle-income families and hard-working Americans – it will be a clear demonstration of just how out of touch they are. The Senate should work with the House of Representatives to finance necessary infrastructure improvements without a tax increase."