The chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Bill Shuster, says passing a long-term transportation funding bill is top priority heading into 2015, but he rules out the possibility of a gasoline tax increase, or a motorist user fee, according to a report on triblive.com.
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, has been a supporter of a vehicle-miles-traveled tax as an alternative to increasing the current 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax. However, he now says both proposals are seemingly unworkable with a GOP-controlled Congress.
“The president has ruled out a gas tax, I don’t think there’s a will in Congress, and the American people don’t want it,” Shuster said, according to triblive.com. He added that a VMT tax was “never really on the table,” pointing in part to lawmaker hesitancy over technical challenges of the government tracking motorists’ mileage.
Whatever the ultimate solution is, it’s clear that everyone wants to find a long-term transportation funding solution before the current HTF patch runs dry in May 2015.
“Although Congress passed a short-term Highway Trust Fund patch and an extension of our surface transportation programs in MAP-21 through May 31, 2015, the longer we wait to find a long-term funding solution for our critical infrastructure the worse it will be,” Senator Barbara Boxer said in October 2014.
As American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President and CEO Pete Ruane said earlier in 2014, the time to fix the Highway Trust Fund is now.