Time to Raise the Gas Tax

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times published yesterday, Larry Penner from New York wrote,

There is a simple solution to fund both highways and public transit.

The national gasoline tax used to support the Highway Trust Fund was last raised to 18.4 cents in 1993. Taking action years ago to raise this tax by only pennies per gallon would have resulted in a robust Highway Trust Fund today.

With low gasoline prices, isn’t this a good time to raise both federal and state gas taxes? This could fully fund the National Highway Trust Fund and its Mass Transit Account.

Most Americans benefit from good roads, bridges and public transportation. With gridlock and partisan bickering in Washington, increasing funding for the Highway Trust Fund and its Mass Transit Account could be a critical issue on which both the president and Congress can agree.

This makes sense to me. It is urgent that we dramatically reduce our combustion of fossil fuels. Raising the gas tax would help accomplish this. Americans should commute by bicycle, walking, and public transportation whenever possible. This is already being done. Learn more about the work of my friend Colin Harris, at Alta Planning and Design group of Minneapolis.

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Colin Harris is a civil engineer, urban designer, who bicycles and walks throughout the year

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