Gas tax reduction now being explored in Congress

By |  July 25, 2014

The federal gas tax could be on its last legs.

According to The Hill, the Senate planned to hold a vote this week on a conservative proposal that would reduce the majority of the gas taxes U.S. drivers pay over a five-year period. Proponents of the measure propose giving the states the authority over federal highways and transit programs and ultimately lowering the tax from the current 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon.

“Under this new system, Americans would no longer have to send significant gas tax revenue to Washington, where politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists take their cut before sending it back with strings attached,” says Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who proposed the idea. “Instead, states and cities could plan, finance and build smarter and more affordable projects.”

An elimination of the gas tax would be a shock to a number of transportation advocates, as the tax has been the primary source of funding highway projects for more than a half-century. In fact, lawmakers explored raising the gas tax in recent months for the first time since 1993.

A tax increase did not garner much support among lawmakers, and it’s doubtful an 80 percent reduction in the gas tax will generate much support in Congress, either.

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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