Even though the need for additional funding is clear, there is little to no consensus among lawmakers regarding how they’ll meet the funding needs in the next highway bill, due early this Fall.
Out in the real world, there is a clear but politically unpopular answer to the problem – raise the federal fuel taxes for the first time since 1993. However, with the looming mid-term elections, any bill that increases a tax on the majority of Americans is unlikely to see the light of day on the Senate’s calendar.
Just like clockwork, suggestions of tolling or mileage taxes are once again being trotted out as alternatives to raising the federal fuel tax. These schemes will likely cost more to implement than they’ll ever contribute to highway funding. Worse yet, tolling and/or mileage taxes would serve mostly to expand the already overweight bureaucracy.
Tags: Highway Funding