Feds Discuss Gas Tax Increase While Nixed In Jersey

Discussion of raising the gas tax is quashed in NJ by Gov.-elect Christie while encouraged in DC by DOT Secretary LaHood and Congressional Transportation Chair James Oberstar. LaHood had an open dialog on the various forms of revenue strategies.

Christie has vowed not to raise the gas tax. He plans to establish "a 'pay-as-you-go' system that would fund transportation projects without borrowing additional money or raising taxes." [Correspondent's note: 'Pay as you go' often refers to relying on road user fee revenues rather than borrowing].

"The fourth-lowest-in-the-nation tax (14.5-cent-per-gallon) hasn't been raised in two decades, and transportation advocates worry that the Christie administration will either borrow money or fail to provide any funding to save the Transportation Trust Fund."

On the federal front, two prominent voices are openly talking of raising the 18.4 cent gas tax, last raised in 1993.

"Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn. (chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee), wants a six-year, $550 billion federal transportation program that would include a 5-cent federal gas tax increase."

From Streetsblog:
"...LaHood appeared to edge the door open to a solution to the nation's transportation funding crisis -- provided that lawmakers swallow their re-election concerns and acknowledge that the current gas tax is no longer raising enough money to run an effective system."

From Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
"To index the federal fuel tax, that's something Congress is going to have to decide". LaHood went on to elaborate on all the other funding strategies, including tolling, bonding, and a VMT fee. However, he spent the most time describing an indexed gas tax.

Thanks to Marilyn Skolnick

Full Story: Feds open talk of gas tax hike

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