Tuscaloosa, AL -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/19/2014 -- On December 4, 2013, a new House bill proposal was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to the public that would raise federal gasoline tax in an attempt to bring in much needed funding for the nation’s decaying and failing infrastructure system. If passed, federal gasoline tax would increase by 15 cents per gallon.
The federal gasoline tax has not kept pace with the nation’s inflation over the years, and has not seen an increase since the year 1993. The federal gas tax revenue flows into the nation’s Highway Trust Fund to support the entire infrastructure system – this includes every road, bridge and transit system.
Reasons for the Fuel Tax Hike
The decision for this new bill proposal was based on the Simpson-Bowles report, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Commission and the National Surface Transportation Financing Commission. Representative Blumenauer has stated that this may be a short-term funding solution and that the United States should later transition to a more stable and long-term funding source for the country’s infrastructure system by the year 2024. Fuel tax hikes are expected to be phased in some time in 2014.
Fuel Tax Hike Support
The fuel tax hike was endorsed by AAA and is supported by the American Trucking Association. In fact, the American Trucking Association’s President and CEO, Bill Graves, is quoted in a statement as being “very pleased” to support this new bill. Many experts feel that this new legislation is long overdue and that the country is presently in desperate need of funding for an issue that has not been addressed for many years.
It seems that everyone is onboard with the fuel tax hike. The new bill is also supported by the Laborers’ International Union of North America, national AFL-CIO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the construction industry, as well as many professional groups, cyclists, businesses, transit agencies and local governments.
The Highway Trust Fund depends on Washington for half of their funding, but the other half is drawn in through gas taxes. The Federal Highway Administration estimated three years ago that in order to maintain a safe infrastructure, more than $70.9 billion worth of repairs would be needed. And according to The American Society of Civil Engineers, it is estimated that $2.7 trillion is needed by 2020 for infrastructure, which includes transportation.
Representative Blumenauer had a large coalition of support during the December 4th news conference. It is pointed out by Blumenauer that the gas tax burden is now put on those who rely on and use the roadways. Historically, this has been an acceptable policy with Republicans. It was President Ronald Reagan who raised the gas tax price by five cents per gallon back in 1982.
Increase In Pay
With fuel prices increasing, truckers will need to find higher paying jobs. Gasing a truck will now be much more costly. Therefore, wages should increase. Looking for a new or better job with truck drivers transitioning is well under way. A highly recommended resource for tracers on the hunt for a new job is EveryTruckJob.
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