Where Are Our Gas Taxes Going?

New study finds that metropolitan area gas taxes are not serving metropolitan residents--resulting in decreased transit funding and added congestion.
April 2, 2004, 5am PST | Erin Clark
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"As Congress prepares to reauthorize a six-year transportation bill worth close to $300 billion, a first ever investigation of metro area transportation spending by the Environmental Working Group found that commuters in 176 metropolitan areas paid a total of $20 billion more in federal gas taxes than they received in federal highway trust fund money for both transit and highways from 1998 through 2003. Taxpayers in fifty-four metropolitan areas lost an estimated 100 million dollars or more during the 6-year period analyzed.

The spending patterns outlined in this study are an outmoded legacy of a bygone era—the Interstate highway-building phase of the last century. This legacy is perpetuated by the entrenched political preference of many state 'transportation' departments to remain 'highway departments' attuned to the priorities of state legislatures that are dominated by rural interests. This politically powerful system places a premium on building new highways—principally in rural areas where new road building remains possible, of course—as job-creating, public works projects." [Editor's Note: Article provides links to state by state data.]

Thanks to Erin Clark

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 in Environmental Working Group
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email