With the Grow America Act gaining national attention and an increasing number of states raising their gas tax, our nation’s infrastructure funding needs are being addressed more intentionally. However, with the federal surface transportation bill (MAP-21) expiring at the end of May, Congress is running out of time to pass a sustainable funding solution.
In Michigan, standing alongside Governor Rick Snyder, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx pitched the Grow America Act that would tax corporations’ overseas profits and gasoline to raise $478 billion over six years for road and transit improvements. Gov. Snyder is campaigning for a proposal to raise more than $1 billion for statewide road improvements in Michigan. Both of these transportation bills seek to efficiently fund underinvested roads. In response to Foxx and Snyder’s propositions and to motivate bipartisan cooperation to find a sustainable funding solution, Rep. Debbie Dingell noted that, “We don’t have Democratic or Republican potholes.”
Democratic and Republican legislators in several states throughout the country have either made or proposed gas tax increases. According to The Atlantic, Republican governors in Utah, Iowa, Georgia, Michigan and South Dakota have proposed gas tax increases. In Utah, a Republican state senator, Kevin Van Tassell, said that the gas tax, “might be dying but it’s not dead and it’s probably the cheapest and most effective tax we have to administer and collect.” Clearly governors of both parties are realizing that raising their gas tax is a necessary step to funding aging infrastructure.
These state and federal propositions are steps in the right direction for restoring our nation’s infrastructure. Given the Highway Trust Fund’s impending insolvency, it is more critical than ever that Congress work together to pass legislation to provide a sustainable, long-term funding solution to #FixTheTrustFund.