Would Temporarily Eliminate the 18 Cents per Gallon Federal Gas Tax
Senators Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) introduced legislation to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax through the end of the year. The bill’s sponsors claim it is to provide economic relief to families across the country. The legislation requires the U.S. Treasury to transfer from the General Fund into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) the lost tax revenues impacted by this legislation should it become law. AGC opposes this bill and similar efforts to eliminate user fees like the gas tax or the federal excise tax on heavy-duty trucks in the past unless they are replaced with another dedicated user fee.
As a reminder, Congress has not adjusted the motor fuels user fees since 1993, and the purchasing power of these user fees has fallen significantly. In addition, improved vehicle fuel efficiency and the growing number of alternative fuel vehicles are further reducing revenues. These revenues are now insufficient to support current levels of funding.
Any proposal to suspend or repeal a current HTF user fee without an equivalent replacement would further exacerbate the impending insolvency of the HTF and make finding the federal resources to fund future transportation investment proposals even more difficult. Whether it is in the short or long term, upgrading highway, bridge, and public transportation systems requires resources, and less revenue means fewer improvements.
Joining them in supporting the bill are senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.). A link to the bill sponsor’s press release can be found here and the bill text here. As always, AGC will continue to keep you updated on this issue.
For more information, contact Alex Etchen at email@example.com.