Go ahead, double my tax
On July 15, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted in favor of transferring $20 billion from the general fund into the Highway Trust Fund to finance road and highway construction projects until a multi-year transportation bill is approved. A key point in the debate about that full transportation bill is the cost of funding a House version of the legislation, according to Reuters news service, because that may require doubling the 18.4-cent tax levied on each gallon of gas sold in the United States to fund the Highway Trust Fund.
American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if the gas tax should be increased to finance the Highway Trust Fund. Below are some of the responses.
“I am against any further tax on gasoline. Get the gas companies to stop making such a high profit and put money into storage for fuel. Then, when these catastrophic events come along, we don’t have to pay for their lack of fuel because they are now shut down.”
— Jay Bohan, Brodhead, Wis., fire chief
“Absolutely the gas tax should be doubled. Other countries have trains. We have packed freeways, many near a standstill when [commuters are] attempting to arrive at work or heading for home. And, who cares how many miles per gallon one gets if no one is moving? We need real alternatives to using the auto, and it’s time to start funding whatever’s next.”
— Jack Paul, Hubbard County, Minn., coordinator
“I agree that the gas tax should double now, but I think that we need to phase out the federal and state gas taxes and, in [their] place, put in a vehicle miles traveled fee at both the federal and state level. We all need to pay for the roads we use equally. Electrical vehicles do not pay gas taxes, thus they are getting a free ride. In addition, we should pay an additional fee for the weight of our vehicle per mile, and those fees [should] go toward [repairing the] damage caused by the weight of the vehicle.”
— Gene Putman, Thornton, Colo., transportation manager
“It definitely should be increased. Doubling is the absolute minimum. Tripling, plus indexing to inflation, would be more appropriate.”
— Mike Schipper, deputy general manager engineering and project management, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority