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Tell the President to back a bipartisan gas tax increase

14 Jan 2015 | Posted by | 2 Comments | , , ,

The steep drop in gas prices offers the best opportunity in years to raise the revenue we need to rescue our transportation trust fund and build for the future. And, for the first time in recent memory, leaders in both parties are calling for a gas tax increase to avoid foisting monumental repair and construction bills on the next generation.

Now is the time:  Congress and the President must seize the moment.

 President Obama is keenly aware of the needs. In just about every State of the Union address since he was elected, he has called for more robust investment to fix our aging network and build what we need to keep people, goods and our economy moving. But the President’s proposals to fund his vision have been short on specifics. And he has opposed raising the gas tax in a weak economy.

Today, though, times are better and gas prices sinking. This time, the President must use the Jan. 20 State of the Union address to say how he would pay for the investments he knows are needed.

 Tell President Obama to voice clear support for a bipartisan move to raise real revenue.

We know we can’t rely on the gas tax alone over the long term. Consumption is likely to drop with cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars – and people are driving less. We need to diversify our revenue sources, even as we broaden the kinds of projects we build.

But that transition will take years, and we have a huge backlog of needs from a long recession that took a toll on our ability to maintain and build our network. Our local communities cannot begin to afford to make up the gap on their own. It’s a nationwide problem that needs national support.

By May, Congress must adopt a new transportation bill and find the money to pay for it. To make the best use of those dollars, Congress must get more resources to local communities, and give them the latitude to do best by their economies and quality of life.

Now, while consumers will feel the impact the least, is the best time to act for a near-term fix. The President can either stifle the conversation from the outset, or add his voice to the growing chorus.

 Please encourage him to add his support, in the high-profile setting of the State of the Union Address.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Jane Jacobs’ 1958 Warning About the Loss of Street Life Still Resonates | Streetsblog.net

  2. Jon Evans

    2 years ago

    Instead of blanketly raising the Gas Tax, It would be better to RAISE THE GAS GUZZLER TAX, AND ADD A TAX ON ANY CAR WITH DISPLACEMENTS OF 305 CUBIC INCHES (5 LITERS) OF PISTON DISPLACEMENT, A TAX ON VEHICLES OVER 4000 POUNDS-EXCEPT FOR CARPOOLS, AND TAX LARGE DISPLACEMENT MOTORCYCLES-EXCEPT FOR TOURING MOTORCYCLES THAT ARE TOO RARELY DRIVEN TO ADVERSELY IMPACT THE ENVIRONMENT.