Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Congress starts talking Federal Gas Tax Hike

Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., a leading voice on transportation issues, wants a six-year, $550 billion federal transportation program that would include a 5-cent federal gas tax increase.

The 18.4-cent-per-gallon federal gas tax, which hasn't been raised since 1993, provides most of the money for projects that benefit from the program.

Oberstar, who is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has said funding for the six-year program will fall about $140 billion short if the federal gas tax remains the same.

"The maintenance and improvement of our transportation infrastructure has fallen well behind our needs," Oberstar said. "An increase in the tax that funds these projects is long overdue."