Gas Tax Increase to Fund Infrastructure?
Yesterday President Trump said he will consider raising the federal gas tax as a means to fund infrastructure. He and his team are looking at ways to fund nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure projects.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said he was open to raising the tax, but not set on doing so. “It’s something that I would certainly consider,” Bloomberg quoted Trump as saying. The president added that he would be inclined to back the idea “if we earmarked money toward the highways.”
Trump’s aides have said the infrastructure package would be paid for with approximately $200 million in federal money with the rest being paid for with private funding.
However, after Trump’s Bloomberg interview, press secretary Sean Spicer toned down the idea that the administration would support increasing the gas tax. Trump had an “open mind” about the idea but did not at this point support it. Instead, it was something he had been asked to consider by a trucking group as a way to improve highways. Trump was considering the increase “out of respect” for that trucking group, Spicer said.
The federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993, although states charge their own additional gas tax. It’s currently set at 18.4 cents per gallon for regular gas and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. The federal gasoline tax raised $20.6 billion for the highway trust fund in 2015, and the diesel tax raised an additional $8.5 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.