House proposes 15-cent federal gas tax hike [w/poll]

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.

"Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system – roads, bridges and transit," Blumenauer said in a press conference cited by The Washington Post. The Post reports that the federal tax hasn't been increased since 1993.

"The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993"

"With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993," Blumenauer said.

While we can understand anger over increased gas prices, Blumenauer has assembled an impressive coalition to support the tax hike. AAA's vice president of public affairs, Kathleen Bower, notes, "The country desperately needs additional funding for infrastructure and, for the moment, there is no better means than the fuel tax. The proposed increase is well overdue and in line with what most experts suggest would be appropriate." In addition, Blumenauer pointed out other supporters "including the US Chamber of Commerce, national AFL-CIO, the construction and trucking ­industry, cyclists, professional groups, numerous associations of small and medium businesses, local governments, and transit agencies."

As we've shown as recently as last year, there's support among American motorists for a tax hike. Of course, you know where we're going with this. Let us know what you think about a potential hike in the gas tax by having your say in Comments and in our poll below.

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