States Prepare To Raise Gas Taxes

Plummeting gas prices, roads in disrepair, and soaring state deficits have caused some state politicians to, gasp, attempt to raise gas taxes - last raised over 15 years ago in some states.
January 17, 2009, 11am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Several states are considering the rare step of raising gasoline taxes to help fill growing budget gaps and potholed roads.

In Iowa, top legislators in both houses would support an increase. In Ohio, a state task force last week recommended raising the gas tax by 13 cents a gallon. In New Hampshire, Rep. David B. Campbell, vice chairman of the House Public Works and Highways Committee is introducing a bill to raise the state gasoline tax (last raised in 1991) by 15 cents a gallon over three years.

There are political risks in raising taxes of any kind, and legislators have been loath to raise their gas taxes, which are imposed in every state but Alaska. In many states, gas taxes have not been raised for more than a decade and they often are not indexed to inflation."

John E. Bradley,chairman of the IL House Revenue Committee who has "opposed virtually every revenue enhancer in terms of tax increases up to this point," is introducing a bill with a motor-fuel surcharge of 8 cents a gallon. "He was persuaded to change his stance, he said, because of the urgent needs of Illinois roads and highways."

Thanks to Gladwyn d'Souza

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Published on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 in The New York Times
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