The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will soon ask President Trump to increase the federal gas tax to fund national infrastructure projects. A 25 cents per gallon increase is proposed.
The Chamber has long supported an increase in the fuel tax but is renewing its push as Republicans and the White House work on the outlines of the infrastructure bill.
The business group is also calling for a more efficient permitting process in addition to increased private partnerships to fund infrastructure projects.
Chamber President Tom Donohue told the Washington Post the following: “Whatever it takes us to get the right kind of bill with the right kind of support and the right kind of improvement, particularly on the permitting side, we’re going to be there.”
The federal government does not have a long-term funding source for transportation and has long been resistant to increasing user fees such as the gas tax. Money from the gas tax goes toward the Highway Trust Fund to pay for national road projects, but it has not been raised since 1993. This lack of a tax hike is said to have eroded the ability to count on the trust fund to finance national infrastructure projects.
The White House is said to be encouraged by the plan, but my push the discussion off until later next month. The Chamber of Commerce contends that updating infrastructure through the gas tax will help lead to more job creation.
Since 2013, more than 20 states, including Republican majority ones such as Wyoming and Georgia, have raised their gas taxes for infrastructure funding.