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If the bill were to pass, the federal gas tax would increase to 33.4 cents per gallon and 42.8 cents for diesel

A recently proposed House bill could bump up the federal gasoline tax by 15 cents per gallon once the current federal transportation bill expires next year. 
 
According to a new report from Forbes, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced the proposal Wednesday at a news conference. 
 
If the bill were to pass, the federal gas tax would increase to 33.4 cents per gallon and 42.8 cents for diesel. The current federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. 
 
This would be the first time the federal gas tax would see a boost since 1993. It was noted that the Highway Trust Fund no longer draws enough money to pay for the U.S.' highway and transit bills because the tax has failed to keep pace with inflation. 
 
Also, improvements in vehicle fuel economy have lowered gas consumption.
 
“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system — roads, bridges and transit,” said Blumenauer. “Congress hasn’t dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years. With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993.”
 

U.S. states impose their own gas taxes, but still depend on the federal government for nearly half of their transportation funding. 

The average combined gas tax bill was 30.4 cents per gallon at the beginning of 2013. 

If Congress were to take no action on the trust fund, it could result in a huge transfer of money from general tax revenue, putting the tax burden on the states or slashing transportation funding. 

Congress had to transfer over $50 billion from general tax revenue to fund the current federal transportation bill. Blumenauer added that the trust fund will need $15 billion more each year if Congress decides to keep funding at that current rate.

He added that increasing the gas tax by 15 cents over three years would raise about $170 billion in the next 10 years. However, the American Society of Civil Engineers said last month that a $2.7 trillion investment is needed in transportation by 2020 for the U.S. is to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Back in April of this year, Bob Lutz -- former vice chairman of General Motors -- suggested that the government should raise gas taxes by 25 cents per gallon a year for ten years. 

A month later, A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that increased fuel efficiency imposed by the CAFE standards will strip $57 billion in tax revenue out of coffers through 2025. CBO said the way to fix this is an increase in the federal tax on gasoline. 

Sources: The Washington Post, Forbes





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