Is A Higher Gas Tax The Way To Pay For Road Repair?

June 11, 2009

Every now and then, one of our posts sparks a nice online discussion. Typical topics: the fate of General Motors after the government bailout, whether hybrid cars are for conscientious citizens or effete wimps ... and, of course, taxes.

Yesterday, we asked readers to weigh in on a challenge facing the funders of highway and bridge repair all across the country. The problem is that as average gas mileage rises, less gasoline will be bought, so gas tax revenue will fall.

That means less money to keep our roads, bridges, and highways in good repair. And as you may have noticed, some of them aren't in great shape to start with.

Even worse, plug-in vehicles that travel some or all of their miles on grid electricity won't pay a penny of gasoline tax to support the roads they travel on.

Now Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) is discussing a 10-percent increase in the Federal gas tax (currently 19.8 cents per gallon) to make up a projected shortfall of hundreds of billions of dollars in transportation funding.

So we'd like to invite you to join the discussion: Should the gas tax rise as Federal gas mileage standards get tougher too?

We're eager to hear your thoughts, but please be polite: No ranting, just proposals for solving this challenge.

Old Gas Pumps

Old Gas Pumps

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