Oregon Bill to Raise Gas Tax – Help Rebuild US Infrastructure
May 23, 2019
Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., unveiled the Rebuild
America Act of 2019 on Tuesday. The initiative would gradually raise the
gasoline and diesel taxes in order to invest in America’s infrastructure.
According to the drafted legislation, fuel tax would
increase by five cents a year over a period of five years, indexes it to
inflation, and notes Congress’ intention to replace it with more equitable,
stable source of funding within 10 years.
“The gas tax was last raised more than 25 years ago, which
means we are paying for our 2019 infrastructure needs with 1993 dollars. That
is unacceptable,” Blumenauer said. “Our nation’s infrastructure is falling apart
as we fall behind our global competitors. The cost of underinvestment falls
especially hard on working families and low-income individuals who can’t afford
the cost of a blown tire or lost wages due to congestion.”
Blumenauer argued that the years of inaction must stop and that it was time to activate on the issue. Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association, applauded the legislation. “Great credit goes to Earl Blumenauer for proposing a solution to the infrastructure crisis in America.”
Time to Save American Infrastructure
Spear discussed at length how the trucking industry sees
firsthand all the deteriorating roads and bridges. He also suggested that the
congestion problem in the country has reached the crisis stage. In fact, Spear
argued that crumbling infrastructure costs the average American roughly $1,500
per year in repairs and congestion.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association vigorously
supports the tax hike. “OOIDA has always favored equitable raises in fuel taxes
as a means to fund America’s highway infrastructure, and will continue to
engage policymakers on sustainable solutions for the future that don’t
disproportionately impact professional drivers.”
Most officials agree that increasing the tax for motor fuels
is the smartest and perhaps the most efficient way to gain revenue for
infrastructure repairs. Plus, construction and maintenance costs have ballooned
while the fuel tax has remained unchanged for about 25 years.
So, what do you guys think of this legislation? Overdue?