eNews • May 12, 2017
Promoting a Cost-Effective, Reliable and Competitive Transportation System

Trump would ‘certainly consider’ raising gas tax

President Donald Trump said he would "certainly consider" raising the federal gas tax to fund infrastructure development during an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office.

"The truckers have said they want me to do something, as long as that money is earmarked to highways," Trump said. "I haven't made a commitment, but they would like it, because they say the roads are in such bad condition."

Later that day during a daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer explained, “What the president said during that interview is that folks from the industry had come to him and expressed to him how the deteriorating roads were affecting their ability to deliver goods and services throughout this country, and that they had expressed a willingness to see something like that as a way to help pay for and repair the roads and bridges, and that he said that he, out of respect, would definitely listen to them and consider it.

“He did not express support for it," Spicer continued. "He expressed that a group that had met with him expressed support with it, and that he, out of respect, would consider their request. That’s it. There was no endorsement of it or support for it.”

However, the nation’s federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, standing at 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel. The tax is used to fund the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which provides money for road construction and other transportation projects across the nation. The HTF only brings in about $34 billion each year, compared with the $50 billion the government spends on transportation infrastructure.

A survey released by AAA in 2014 found that 52 percent of Americans are willing to pay higher fuel taxes for better roads, bridges and mass transit systems.

In addition, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has been urging Congress to fix the “broken” HTF before its funding expires in 2020.

Despite Trump saying he would consider increasing the gas tax, many congressional Republicans who signed an anti-tax pledge have avoided the idea of raising the gas tax because it would likely be viewed as a tax hike, while other GOP lawmakers argue the tax is not a sustainable, long-term funding solution, since vehicles are becoming progressively more fuel efficient and people are relying less on cars, The Hill reported.

“I oppose raising taxes, and I oppose adding to the debt,” Sen. John Barrasso, R.-Wyo., chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told The Hill. “There are a lot of ways we can do the funding [for infrastructure].”

Source: American Shipper

The Soy Transportation Coalition is comprised of thirteen state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association, and the United Soybean Board. The National Grain and Feed Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association serve as ex-officio members of the organization.

Soy Transportation Coalition
1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy., Ankeny, Iowa 50023
Phone: (515) 727-0665 Fax (515) 251-8657
Email msteenhoek@soytransportation.org
Web www.soytransportation.org

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