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Posted at 4:40 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Why the federal gas tax isn't covering our needs

By Dan Malouff

A few short decades ago the United States built the Interstate Highway System, one of the greatest public works of all time. It’s a good thing we built it when we did, because we couldn’t afford it today. We can’t afford to build much new transportation infrastructure at all these days, whether road or transit.

Why? It’s not as if we’re a less wealthy nation now. On the contrary, we’re wealthier. The problem is that the gas tax, the primary source of revenue for federal transportation capital investment, has been shrinking every year.

The gas tax isn’t indexed to inflation. It was 18.4 cents per gallon years ago when gasoline was less than a dollar per gallon overall, and it remains 18.4 cents per gallon today. Since revenue generated from the gas tax stays the same while the rest of the economy grows, that means the gas tax revenue doesn’t have the buying power that it used to.

Continue reading this piece by Dan Malouff at here.

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Dan Malouff  | November 15, 2010; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  taxes, transportation  
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Calls for a rise in the gas tax, no matter how logical they may be, are not going to work in the current environment.

Posted by: krickey7 | November 15, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

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