Bipartisan bill could raise the Federal Gas Tax by 12 cents over the next two years
Tuscaloosa, AL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/20/2014 -- Recently, Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) introduced a bipartisan bill that would raise the Federal Gas Tax by 12 cents over the next two years. This would raise the prices at the gas pump, however many see it as a more equitable way to fix the nation's transportation problems. The money raised would be used to repair and replace aging, obsolete infrastructure, as well as replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
This could benefit certain areas of the country, especially the Northeast, which sees the highest road use in the country and a harsh winter climate that destroys the asphalt each winter. Local taxes and tolls are mostly used to try and bridge the gap between the expensive and/or necessary road repairs.
In the Midwest, it is a different story. Better, maintained roads are needed, but the region does not have the local population to pay for them. Kansas and Nebraska needs to almost completely rely on the money needed to come from out of state.
The gas tax has not been raised since 1993, as Congress has been reluctant to increase it for fear of a voter backlash, however, the proposed bill to raise it has been endorsed by the AAA and has the approval from the Owner Operator Independent Driver's Association (OODIA) and other key players in the carrier industry.
However, considering the improvements made to passenger cars in the past 20 years, motorists are not pumping as much fuel as used to, as later model cars are more fuel efficient. Again, this would put the brunt of this tax increase off to the trucking industry, as the average passenger car gets about 20 miles to the gallon, versus a semi truck, which gets about seven miles to the gallon. The direct cost for the average truck driver depends on how many miles are actually driven and the semi trucks actual average gas mileage.
While almost all within the trucking industry can understand the growing problems with the nation's highway system and do not want to pay more for diesel fuel, most prefer a fuel tax to an increase in tolls. The burden of paying tolls falls heavily on truckers than it does passenger cars. Crossing the George Washington Bridge in New York/New Jersey is the prime example. Truckers can expect to pay $100 or more, compared to $13 for a passenger car.
Regardless of whether the Federal Gas Tax sees an increase, for the first time in 20 years, or the tolls on bridges and highways are increased nationwide, it is certain that the increase in the cost of transporting goods to retail outlets and supermarkets will pass the cost of delivering the goods along to the consumers.
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