President Obama's budget proposal includes a new way of funding infrastructure improvements over the next six years. His plan would be a one-time, 14 percent tax on corporate earnings held overseas to raise an estimated $238 billion.
The fund that the United States uses for the maintenance of its roads is increasingly falling short, and one of the main reasons is the more efficient cars we drive today. As fuel economy improves, the amount raised by the nation's gas taxes falls, and it is those taxes that pay for much of the highway upkeep in the country. That leaves the question of how we continue to maintain the roads.
The United States Highway Trust Fund is getting closer to running out, and the federal government is scrambling to find a way to keep it in the black. The fund pays for a significant portion of the upkeep for the country's interstates, bridge repairs and some public transportation projects. It's currently backed under a two-year law that expires in September, but Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx claims the actual money in the account will be gone by the end of August. Without new financi
Prepare for a big political debate about the nation's infrastructure in the coming weeks. The Obama administration has sent a bill covering interstate repair funding for the next four years to Congress. While that might seem somewhat benign, the proposal is likely to prove contentious because it would be partially financed by ending some tax breaks to businesses. This likely won't go over well in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The cost of a gallon of fuel may go up if a Democratic representative from Oregon gets his way. Earl Blumenauer has reportedly proposed a bill in the House of Representatives to raise the federal gas tax 15 cents per gallon in a bid to cover a shortfall in transportation funding (we told you so?). The current federal tax is 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon of diesel.
The Chinese government is about to put its money where everyone's mouth (and nose, for that matter) is by enforcing an automobile-pollution refueling tax in the notably polluted city of Beijing, Gasgoo says, citing Xcar.
This might come as puzzling news for any Angeleno or San Franciscan whose head is ringing from the most recent batch of potholes: California has the highest state gas taxes in the country, charging almost five times as much per gallon as low-tax states such as Alaska and Georgia, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says.
The assessment of a gas tax and the role it plays in a state's transportation and overall budgets has been a topic of discussion for a while, and Virginia state governor Bob McDonnell is the latest to offer up another way to secure more revenue from the state's residents to pay for their roads and public transportation. McDonnell's proposal would eliminate Virginia's 17.5-percent gas tax entirely, with funds for infrastructure projects coming from an increase in the sales tax from five percent t
In a move likely to cause an uproar across Portland-area coffeehouses, Oregon's state legislature is again considering instituting a per-mile tax on super-fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. The state is looking to recuperate revenue lost because more fuel efficient vehicles on the road result in fewer dollars being collected from gas taxes.
As cars get more fuel efficient, they become a less profitable source of tax dollars. So what's a city to do? Raising gas taxes is certain political death. For San Francisco Bay officials, creativity is the key.
In some ways, taxing people for the miles they drive makes sense. After all, we need money to keep roads in good shape and it already happens today, indirectly, through gasoline taxes. But when anyone talks about taxing the miles directly – i.e., through a mileage or "vehicle miles traveled" tax – hackles get raised.
Tragedy is a relative concept. Some would call it a tragedy that, while Italy makes some of the most desirable (and gas-guzzling) cars on the market, it also has some of the highest fuel prices in Europe. But that unfortunate reality is far overshadowed by the two earthquakes that have struck the country's Emilia-Romagna region, killing 24 people in total. Now the fledgling government tasked with steering the troubled country into financial health is forced to raise fuel taxes even higher to rel
Governments need to pay for things, and when traditional sources of revenue decline, other sources are found. To deal with the urgent needs of the highway infrastructure system and, if possible, add capacity, states need a lot more money than they currently have. Unable to get more from Congress, since Congress remains opposed to raising the gas tax, states are asking for the right to skip the gas-pump middleman and go straight to your wallet in the form of toll roads.
For a multitude of reasons – climate change, air quality, national security, etc. – a large reduction in the burning of carbon-based fuels is a good idea. Since higher prices are known to reduce consumption, one way to achieve this is to simply put a tax on fuel at the pump. It's been proposed by GM's Dan Akerson, Bill Ford and others, but the idea can be difficult politically and economically. With current prices already relatively high, further increases negatively impact the cost
Charging drivers more just makes dollars and cents
As much as it pains me to say this: America needs a $1 a gallon gas tax.
And right now would be the perfect time to start. Vote, pass, sign. Please.
This gas tax could rebuild America, create jobs, help the auto industry, improve the environment and do something no politician likes to do: Pay as you go.
Oh, the gas tax, always a contentious issue. We've covered it throughout the years but now the Congressional Budget Office is reminding us that the time has come to move well beyond simple discussion and politics: the Highway Trust Fund is not getting enough money to pay for the transportation infrastructure that America needs.