Transportation Secretary Opposes Call For Gas Tax Increase

<p>In this opinion by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, she rejects the recommendation by a national transportation commission to increase the gas tax, instead preferring road tolls, congestion pricing, and other private sector investment.</p>
January 21, 2008, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"It's clear that our national approach to transportation isn't working.

Three years ago Congress created two commissions to examine surface transportation policies and financing. Yesterday, one of those commissions, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission, gave its recommendations to Congress

Its report maintains a strong emphasis on status quo solutions at a time when the country needs an entirely new transportation policy. I declined to endorse the report's central recommendations.

We believe that this country can do much better than simply charging drivers more to sit in never-ending traffic jams.

As a nation we've barely taken advantage of the billions of private-sector dollars currently available for investment in new road, bridge and other transportation projects. With the kind of encouragement we're recommending, many more states could soon be able to pay for new transportation projects without having to increase taxes, sell new bonds or go further into debt."

From U.S. D.O.T release:
"The Secretary said (she) would not sign the final report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which was created by Congress in 2005. The Secretary said she was deeply troubled by the Commission's call for an up to 40 cent per gallon federal gasoline tax increase over the next five years, rising to up to 91 cents in 20 years when indexed for inflation. She added the report also assumes that states will increase their gas taxes by up to 60 cents per gallon over the next five years. She said recent studies, including one from the Government Accountability Office last summer, have concluded gas taxes don't work to reduce traffic congestion."

Thanks to Ron McLinden

Full Story:
Published on Friday, January 18, 2008 in The Wall Street Journal
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email