A new bill has been introduced in the House that would see a 15 cent per gallon increase in fuel taxes as a solution to the highway funding deficit. The bill, being called the UPDATE Act, has been presented by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.
Rep. Blumenauer has said that the fuel tax increase could serve as a short-term stop-gap to keep the Highway Trust Fund alive. According to him, the “short-term” increase would be only temporary until a more stable source of funding can be found by 2024.
The new gas tax would be phased in next year and would attach fuel taxes to inflation.
The bill is based on recommendations from numerous different sources including the National Surface Transportation Policy, the Revenue Commission, and the National Surface Transportation Financing Commission.
While many in the industry won’t welcome any new fuel taxes, some will be happy to see the burden of funding our highways spread to all those who use our nation’s roads rather than just being focused on commercial motor vehicles. The American Trucking Association has come out in favor of the bill, saying that it will help our “woefully underfunded” roadways.