In a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee last week, Pete Ruane, president and CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), said the gasoline tax remains a valid revenue source to fund surface-transportation projects.
Ruane said that despite the findings of the Congressional Budget Office, the mechanism is still viable, but the tax rate has become a problem. The federal gasoline tax rate has not been altered since 1993. Ruane said the rate should be increased to restore the tax to a potent funding mechanism.
A rise of 15 cents per gallon would fund a six-year, $400 billion reauthorization of highway funding, Ruane said.
“(The raise) would restore the user-pays principle, costing the average motorist less than 25 cents a day and ending this morally bankrupt cycle of dumping more and more debt on our children and grandchildren to pay today’s highway and transit bills," Ruane said.
This would also open up non-user revenue to other items, instead of being used to reauthorize highway and transit funding authorization.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that while the excise rate has not changed, steel and iron prices have increased by 71 percent on average, and wages for construction workers have grown by 85 percent on average.