Competing tax reform proposals include billions for infrastructure
Competing tax reform proposals, from President Obama and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), include billions of dollars to repair and build highways and bridges. Although any tax reform proposals are unlikely to move in an election year, everyone agrees that money is badly needed for infrastructure repair. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said that the Highway Trust Fund could run out of funds as soon as August.
The presidents plan would set aside $300 billion for fixing highways and bridges in the next four years. Obama suggests that half of that sum could be raised through business tax reform, but said he is open to other ideas for funding. Camps tax reform bill sets aside $126 billion for transportation.
Both proposals were praised by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Society of Civil Engineers, which has given U.S. infrastructure a grade of D. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has said she plans to introduce a transportation bill as early as April.
Some have suggested replacing the fuel tax with a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax, which is already being tried in Oregon. It has the advantage of spreading the tax burden to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles, who now pay little or nothing for fuel and therefore dont contribute to the Highway Trust Fund.Download Bulletin PDF