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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…)