Oct 26, 2017
The Trump administration is considering hiking the federal gasoline tax by seven cents a gallon so as to pay for the administration’s infrastructure program. The president’s economic adviser told a group of moderate Republicans that the vote to increase the gasoline tax would take place early in 2018. Republicans have been unwilling to use the current debate on tax reform “to set aside some money for infrastructure.” The federal gasoline tax is currently set at 18.4 center per gallon and at 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. The money raised from the fuel tax is earmarked for the Highway Trust Fund. The fund “provides money for road construction and other transportation projects across the country. . . “ As cars have overall become more fuel efficient, the fund has not had the influx of money needed to keep up with infrastructure expenses. This a classic example of Congress trying to engineer what it thinks is good for society but then failing to consider what the consequences are going to be. Congress would be far better to stay out of setting mileage rates and let the free market determine how best to serve consumers. Conservatives in Congress are expected to oppose legislation that would raise the fuel tax.