Trump would consider raising gas tax to pay for infrastructure
Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he is open to the idea of raising the gas tax to pay for infrastructure. He said the truckers, who would pay about half the cost, told him they would approve the idea if the money was used to upgrade and repair highways.
All sides agree that infrastructure improvement is badly needed, but no one wants to pay for it. Matters have been complicated by conservative activist Grover Norquistês success in getting many members of Congress to sign a pledge saying they would never vote to raise taxes. The federal gas tax of 18.4 cents has not been raised in more than 20 years. Several states, including Virginia, have raised their gas tax to help pay for roads.
The American Trucking Association did not make a public statement. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has long advocated a gas tax increase to help pay for infrastructure. So have the Washington Post and New York Times, which both praised Trumpês statement.
During the campaign, Trump said he would propose a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, some of it from private investment through public/private partnerships. Budget director Mick Mulvaney told Bloomberg recently the president was sticking with the $1 trillion figure, but just $200 billion of it would be from federal money. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the infrastructure plan will likely be introduced this summer, according to the Boston Globe.
The AAA last week offered a list of six roadway improvements that would reduce the likelihood and consequences of crashes, at a cost of $146 billion. In order of effect on crash reduction, the recommendations are: convert key intersections into roundabouts; install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects; add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossing on the majority of roads; install median barriers on divided highways; install shoulder and centerline rumble strips, and pave and widen shoulders.Download Bulletin PDF