During a Congressional oversight hearing on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, U.S. Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) declared dead a federal gas tax increase to fund a long-term transportation bill.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who testified during a July hearing, confirmed that the Obama administration does not support any increase in the gas tax in the next surface transportation reauthorization.
Mica, who has been a strong opponent of increasing the federal gas tax, said the next Congress will be even less inclined to propose a gas tax increase. “The next long-term reauthorization must consider a host of financing alternatives to help stabilize the Highway Trust Fund, which currently relies on the increasingly obsolete gas tax for funds,” he said.
The need for a long-term funding solution is evident, especially in the home state of Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.). At 76%, Minnesota has more congested roads than any other state, and those roads cost each driver $1,501 annually.