The U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to soon announce a proposal for the Trump administration and Congress to raise the federal gas tax by 25 cents per gallon to help pay for an infrastructure package.
Chamber President Thomas Donohue told the Washington Post Tuesday that the nation's biggest business lobby wants “to put our oar in the water” but acknowledged it would be “a tough vote” to raise the gasoline tax for the first time since 1993.
“I’ve been pushing this for a long, long time, but now gangs of people are pushing it,” Donohue said. The increase would raise more than $375 bilion over a decade, the Chamber says.
The Trump administration is expected to introduce a plan soon to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges, highways, and other infrastructure.
Administration officials have proposed providing $200 billion in federal money to spur at least $800 billion in spending from state and local governments, and private industry.
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.
Since 1993, the federal tax on gasoline has remained at 18.4 cents per gallon, and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. It is not indexed to inflation.
That has led to chronic shortfalls in funding for the Highway Trust Fund, the main vehicle to spread money to states to help pay for transportation projects.
Since 2013, more than 20 states, including right-leaning ones such as Wyoming and Georgia, have raised their gas taxes.