Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How our roads came to depend on a broken tax scheme Washington can't fix.

As mentioned in the blog post from this morning, infrastructure funding is an issue that isn't going anywhere. One of the biggest questions concerns the gas tax, and whether or not it is a viable option to raise it to pay for the nation's transportation projects. An article on Politico traces the history of the federal gas tax, from its beginning in the 1910's to its last increase in 1993. Many argue an increase in the gas tax could negatively impact politicians who vote 'yes'. The article points out many conservative states have had few repercussions when raising their state's gas tax. Georgia, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Utah, among others, have raised their state gas tax when realizing the gradual decrease in the current gas tax's purchasing power. The federal government has passed 33 short-term extensions to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent since 2009, with the current extension due to expire by next week. What the government will do next is still up for discussion, but multiple bills await debate.

For more information about the history of the gas tax and state initiatives, read the article at Politico.

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