Push to raise gas tax sidetracked by shutdown

Push to raise gas tax sidetracked by shutdown

A plan to mark the 20th anniversary on October 1 of the last hike in the gas tax with a push for another increase was effectively derailed by the federal shutdown starting that day. The rate 20 years ago, back in 1993, was raised 4.3 cents per gallon to 18.4 cents.

But that only raises about $35 billion a year – not enough to keep up with needed road improvements and new roads, says the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Congress spends about $54 billion a year on transportation projects and pays for them from other parts of the budget.

Before the shutdown, lawmakers had planned hearings on possible revenue sources for transportation funding. But the hearings were canceled when the government shut down.

The furlough of Department of Transportation workers doesnt help. The shutdown of the federal government will have long-lasting negative effects on Americas already outdated infrastructure, American Society of Civil Engineers President Gregory DeLoreto said, according to The Hill.

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