About the Problem

America’s infrastructure is in increasingly poor condition.

The Federal Highway Trust Fund — which is funded by gas and diesel taxes and provides three fourths of all federal spending on highways and mass transit — has an annual funding deficit of $13 billion in 2016 and $20 billion by 2025.

 

 

Infrastructure

About the Policy

Increase the federal gas tax with all the revenues split in three equal proportions to: 1) reduce personal income taxes, 2) reduce the federal deficit and 3) provide additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund.

Public Support

63% of All Polled
73% of Democrats
56% of Republicans
59% of Independents

Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%

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The Federal Highway Trust Fund currently has an annual funding deficit of $13 billion. That number is expected to reach $20 billion by 2025.

The impact of an underfunded infrastructure system is staggering: 32% of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Additionally, 63,000 bridges are in need of “significant repairs.” America is the most prosperous nation in world history, yet our infrastructure is unacceptably dangerous and unfit for our economic needs.

Getting America back on the right track will require a commitment by federal lawmakers to develop a more steady and robust funding mechanism.

For years, many have argued that raising the federal gas tax is the most sensible way to deal with the funding defect. That tax was set at at 18.4 cents per gallon in 1993 and it has not changed since, despite the price of gas rising significantly.

But the persistent challenge facing this idea is that increasing the gas tax is simply unpopular among the America people, who would prefer to not pay more at the pump.

Rather than continuing to pursue an old, unpopular idea, lawmakers should re-frame the conversation about a gas tax to make it not only more effective, but more appealing. No Labels has developed a solution that has majority support among Democrats, Republicans and independents.

It’s called a Highway User Fee Divided by 3, in which new gas tax revenues are split in three equal proportions to:

1) Reduce personal income taxes
2) Reduce the federal deficit, and
3) Provide additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund.

This idea will help improve our nation's infrastructure, and an increase in the gas tax would also enhance energy security by increasing the cost of oil-based fuels, which would accelerate the transition to other transportation fuels.