Senators John Boozman (R-Ark.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have predicted a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). They predict lawmakers will come up with an idea to fund U.S. transportation projects beyond the gas tax.
“Coming up between now and May, you’ll see a new funding mechanism that is going to change how we are funding our roads and highways,” Inhofe said.
The federal gas tax, which is currently priced at 18.4 cents per gallon, is failing to fund the country’s transportation infrastructure, and more fuel efficient cars are not helping. Congress has not yet been able to agree on a new, long-term, way to fund the HTF, but it did agree on a short-term, $10.8 billion dollar patch, that should keep things running through May 2015.
“We’re going to have to figure out how we can get a revenue stream to support that, and there’ll be a lot of controversy about that,” Boozman said.
The senators did not give any exact insight on what their proposed solution will be to fund U.S. transportation projects. One idea could be to let private investors fund projects and build tolls. Democrat Jason Carter has even flirted with the idea of a transportation sales tax.