How will U.S. pay for roads as Highway Trust Fund runs dry?
After last yearês Congressional session that set a record for how little got done, no one is expecting any tax increases to pass in this election year. But the Highway Trust Fund is projected to run out of money as soon as August of this year. How will U.S. roads be built and repaired?
Several influential organizations are pushing for a hike in the gas tax, which has not been raised since 1993. The American Automobile Association favors a 15-cent-a-gallon increase. Others who have spoken out in favor of an increase include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and the American Trucking Association, according to The Hill. But they have an uphill battle.
Thereês a lot of headwinds facing tax issues on Capitol Hill, and thereês a lot of saber-rattling that is going to get louder in an election year,AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Ed Wytkind told The Hill.
Another possibility for raising money is more toll roads, favored by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. The upside: Tolling is a user fee, so drivers who use the roads would be paying for them. The downside: Thereês strong opposition in Congress.
Those who donêt like higher taxes or user fees can opt for moving money from another part of the budget, as proposals by President Obama and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) would do after tax reform. But neither proposal has gotten anywhere. The only point that everyone agrees on is that something must be done and soon.Download Bulletin PDF