Out of Control Policy Blog

Gas tax for roads? Think again....

Investor's Business Daily had a great editorial on the recent proposal to hike the gas tax. They point out that less than 60% of the gas tax revenue goes to "essential" roadwork. The rest goes to pork (10%) and transit (30%).

They write:

Worse, no longer are revenues from the federal gasoline tax dedicated solely to building and maintaining the interstate highway system. That changed in 1983, when a little more than a 10th of revenues were used for mass transit. That has now tripled to 30%.

But that doesn't mean that 70% of the gas tax is dedicated to paying for our highway infrastructure. One-tenth of federal transportation spending is pork. In the last transportation bill, more than 6,000 pet projects costing $24 billion drained money away from where it was needed.

....

At the end of the day, a mere 60% of the revenues are left for essential road work. If that's not enough, lawmakers could have an immediate 67% increase in funds if they would only devote all the revenues from the gasoline tax to valid road projects.

Thanks to NCPA's Policy Digest for making sure the editorial didn't slip through the cracks. You can subscribe to NCPA's pithy daily update on policy news here.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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