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Posts Tagged ‘gasoline tax’

Lawmakers Look at Alternatives to Gas Tax as Highway Infrastructure Crumbles

Rebuilding America’s roads will be costly – per-mile fees may be one solution.

by on Feb.23, 2018

President Donald Trump is backing a 25-cent increase in the national gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Lawmakers in Hawaii have taken the first step towards adding new fees for owners of electrified vehicles, a move a Senate committee chairman describes as a way to get hybrid and EV owners to “pay their fair share” towards maintaining the state’s bridges and roads.

With the U.S. transportation infrastructure crumbling and state and federal highway funds running short, lawmakers and regulators are searching for ways to raise new money. President Donald Trump, who made a massive infrastructure program a cornerstone of his campaign for the White House, has gone so far as to suggest federal gas taxes might need to be more than doubled.

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That proposal has gotten a cold reception from Congress, no surprise after Republicans barely pushed through a tax cut late last year and now face a tough midterm battle to retain control of both the House and Senate. But with taxpayers also demanding road repairs there’s growing interest in finding alternative solutions, such as pay-as-you-go fees. And even though Congress decided to retain tax credits for zero-emissions vehicles, that could be offset with new registration and usage fees. (more…)

Green Cars – Red Ink?

A shift to electric power could be a financial nightmare for federal and state coffers.

by on Jan.20, 2011

Great for the environment but bad for the Treasury?

Buy a car, get a check.  It worked for Chrysler, three decades ago, when the maker introduced the idea of rebates in an effort to boost lagging sales.  Now, the federal government – and more than a dozen states – are using the same tactic hoping to convince American motorists to switch from conventional powertrain technology to advanced battery vehicles.

The $7,500 federal tax credit is a significant chunk of cash, with a vehicle like the Nissan Leaf reducing its list price by nearly a quarter.  Lawmakers wisely placed limits on the number of battery car buyers can claim the subsidy – and how long the program will operate – to avoid bankrupting an already deficit-plagued Treasury.

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But even when such government-funded sales incentives vanish, battery cars could place a serious strain on both federal, state and, in some cases, local government tax coffers by cutting off a steady and lucrative source of tax revenues, gasoline excise taxes.  That means, in years ahead, lawmakers may be forced to enact new taxes specifically aimed at battery car owners.