Skip to comments.40-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase urged by federal panel
Posted on 01/15/2008 2:56:00 PM PST by BradtotheBone
A federal panel today recommended a steep increase in motor fuel taxes and an increased emphasis on mass transit to meet the nation's transportation needs and repair its deteriorating infrastructure.
In its report, the 12-member National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, appointed by Congress in 2005, recommended increasing the federal gasoline tax by as much as 40 cents a gallon, at a rate of 5 to 8 cents per year.
The current federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and the state tax is 20 cents. The price of a gallon of regular gasoline has hovered near $3 for months.
The report, Transportation for Tomorrow, also recommends congestion pricing tolls that increase with the volume or speed of traffic in metropolitan areas.
Other tactics suggested include "a freight fee for freight projects and ticket taxes for passenger rail improvements," according to the commission's announcement.
Three of the commission members, including the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Mary Peters, dissented from the conclusions.
"Raising gas taxes won't improve traffic congestion. It will only perpetuate our ineffective reliance on fossil-based fuels," Peters said in a prepared statement.
"A better way forward is to provide incentives to states willing to pursue more efficient approaches and to invest federal funds more effectively to give commuters real relief from gridlock," she said. Among those approaches, the dissenters suggested tolls and congestion pricing.
A statement from Gov. Rick Perry called the study recommendations "incredibly short-sighted" and said that "raising taxes is a surefire way to stifle growth, and limiting states' freedom to innovate will only make it worse."
As an alternative to tax increases, Perry and the late Texas Transportation Commission chairman Ric Williamson have advocated strongly that Texas enter long-term contracts with private companies to build and operate toll roads.
Perry said he also opposes the report's recommendations "curtailing states' ability to leverage the capital and innovation of the private sector."
Among the other recommendations by the 12-member commission:
Work to cut traffic fatalities in half over the next 17 years by urging states to embrace new strategies to improve safety.
Ease traffic congestion by expanding state and local public transit systems and highway capacity.
Protect the environment by smoothing traffic flow, encouraging alternative commute options such as carpooling and public transit and promoting energy-efficient construction and lighting in transit systems to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Seek to develop new energy sources with new research programs costing $200 million annually over the next decade.
The proposals for improving the nation's transportation system, which are expected to cost $225 billion each year for the next 50 years, is at risk of stalling because of internal division. The commission's chairwoman, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, and two other members oppose gas tax increases and were issuing a dissenting opinion to the report that said private-sector investment and tolls would be sufficient.
The gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and recent efforts by Congress to raise it have faltered over the objections of the Bush administration. The tax increase is designed to take effect in 2009, after President Bush leaves office.
It is time for a "new beginning," the report said, calling the current strategy of patchwork repair "no longer acceptable."
The report also calls for the country to rebuild and expand its rail network to meet a growing demand for alternatives to congested highways and to promote partnerships between the public and private sectors at U.S. ports.
The commission was formed by Congress in 2005 to study the future needs of the nation's surface transportation system, which includes roads, mass-transit systems, ports and rail lines as well as to recommend funding options.
The report comes as state governments and several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are calling on the federal government to raise gas taxes to pay for substantial transportation improvements. The Minneapolis bridge collapse, which killed 13 people and injured about 100, also shone a national spotlight on the unsteady condition of the nation's roads and bridges and drew new calls for additional spending.
The Bush administration has said that raising taxes won't cut congestion and creates additional risks for congressional pork, such as Alaska's infamous multimillion dollar "Bridge to Nowhere," which has been scuttled.
In its report, the commission unanimously agreed that measures of accountability were needed to keep watch over state and federal spending.
I’m sorry - I must have missed the part where I was told to grease up and bend over.
Are the names of the panel’s members known so the general public can start the TAR AND FEATHERING?
Talk about doing the wrong thing at the wrong time!!!
Hmmmm. Didn’t know that many economic illiterates could be on a federal panel.
These morons won’t be happy until the price of gasoline hits $10.00 per gallon, half of which will be taxes.
Ain’t gonna be no grease for this one.
You weren't. This is too important for grease.
How about letting a free people find their own way to respond to the realities of life?
We have more and better ideas and the problems will be solved just like when water finds it’s own level.
beat me by 7 Dang!
This comes on the heels of the public claiming that the GOP has to go because gas prices are too high and that the bridge collapse was because of a faulty design and not poor maintenance.
Bush has lead us down the wrong path on oil for 8 years. He never made drilling a national defense priority and let the dems slap him down. He puts the future in hydrogen, when it should be in electric plug-ins including nuclear power.
When the author talked to the WH, Mosbacher told him, "We don't do mandates." Of course, they do, MPG, seat belts, and on and on. But no mandates to free us from sending $200 bill to Saudi Arabia annually, so they can build schools around the world to preach hatred of non-moslem culture.
The cost of flex-fuel vehicles is $1 mill per engine for governmental approval. Times 150 engines. Within 3-4 years we would greatly reduce oil imports as the market makes it feasible for alternative fuels.
Why don't they just take my home, my property and my paycheck and move me into a government slum with a few food stamps now and again.
Just what the economy needs...Sheesh.
Why not reduce or downsize government by say 300,000 employees? Eliminating all that fat, high salaries and those killer government pensions could save real big bucks.
Throw the Bastards out....all of them!
what a bunch of blood suckers
They’re working on it. Give them time.
How about we build more power plants while we are at it rather than just telling the public to “use less” as more and more (millions upon millions) immigrate to the USA?
Didnt know that many economic illiterates could be on a federal panel.
I would wager to say that the majority of government panels, posts, elected positions and every other group I missed to be populated with economic, as well as constitutional, illiterates.
When you hear in your community that your private home must “go” by imminent domain for the greater good of “smart growth”, you’ll find your govt. slum.
Doesn’t matter, folks. R’s and D’s are against the people.
It really is no longer R’s and D’s, its the elites against the people.
We need to take it back.
Vote Duncan Hunter, get rid of the people that wish to make us slaves.
These idiots all have drivers or ride mass transit.
“Why don’t they just take my home, my property and my paycheck and move me into a government slum with a few food stamps now and again.”
Be patient, it’s coming.
We were just talking about that. Why doesn't government just take our paychecks just give us back just enough money to eat and put gas in the tank to get to work...At the rate we are going, eventually they'll be taking 75 percent of our income in taxes and fees.
Is this Marxist federal panel composed of fossilized remnants of the FDR administration and the old soviet union?
“These morons wont be happy until the price of gasoline hits $10.00 per gallon, half of which will be taxes.”
Unfortunately, I agree with you.
Key phrase here “APPOINTED BY CONGRESS”
You are probably correct.
Can we clone Dr. thomas Sowell?
That’s the absolute, 100%, TRUTH.
the 12-member National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission
Purge the urge. Please.
These Federal Officials are NUTs.Where do they think that money is going to come from. We don’t all work for the Federal Government.
I propose the government waive the engine approval fees or otherwise speed up the process for approval of the flex-fuel vehicles.
As we get the battery technology over 200+ MPH, and start building some nuke power plants, we can expect to see mass demand for electric plug-ins. That should take us into the next century.
Yep. Nothing about increasing supply, just increase the cost. What a bunch of regressive taxing retards! They always want to use the tax mechanism to manipulate markets and behavior while at the same time standing in the way of supply and demand. Talk about pushing on a string!
Just take the money Bob Byrd earmarks every year away from him—that’ll pay for the infrastructure.
“We dont all work for the Federal Government.”
We are their slaves.
These morons wont be happy until the price of gasoline hits $10.00 per gallon, half of which will be taxes.
I thought the tax already hit that mark after all the overhead
100% truth folks, the time has come to fight back. They are ruining the US, all for money. R’s and D’s hang out together to make sure all of us grease their wheels. Lets give these evil people their just due. Screw R’s and D’s.
We are Americans, KOA.
With eight Republicans breaking ranks with the president, the decisive vote probably ended, at least for this year, the longtime dream of many Alaskans and conservatives in Washington that the protected wilderness could be opened for development, an issue that has pitted Democrats and environmentalists against Republicans and petroleum interests for more than a decade."
You want to blame somebody for America's failure to drill for oil in America, then put the blame where it belongs. On leftists and RINO loons.
"Stick your 40-cent-per-gallon tax increase plan where mushrooms grow" urges enraged citizenry.
Go Euro all the way. Kick it up to 50%. We can afford that $8 per gallon, no problem. Just keep the birthright to open road and flowing gasoline.
Which, of course, is directly counter to the new CAFE standards mandated by Congress -- which will make cars not only more expensive (by $6000), but smaller and lighter and more dangerous (by 4000 fatalities per year).
More government is good for us...
These Dopes must be smoking Dope (or they are mostly Democrats)....whose solution to everything is raising taxes. These fools are looking for armed mobs in the streets...as if gas prices aren’t high enough already !!! What complete idiots !!! UNBELIEVABLE !!!
Here’s a snippet from the bio of one of these brain surgeons:
Tom Skancke, CEO, The Skancke Company
snip.....In 1999, Nevada Governor, Kenny Guinn, appointed Tom to the CANAMEX Corridor Coalition (CCC). The CCC is a 5 state commerce and tourism coalition in the western United States. In 2003, the CCC elected Tom the first full time chairman of the five state coalition and he served in that capacity for two years. He continues to be a member of the Coalition. Most recently, United States Senator Harry Reid appointed Tom to sit on the congressionally created National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission....snip
If Harry Reid has anything to do with this guy, then you know this panel was stacked.
What happened to smaller, less intrusive government?