GOP Lawmaker Proposes Gas Tax Increase To Pay For Infrastructure

Kyle Perisic | Contributor

A House Republican released a plan Monday that would add a number of taxes, including a gas tax, in order to help pay for President Donald Trump’s infrastructure projects.

The infrastructure plan would add a 15-cent tax per gallon increase on gas and a 20-cent per gallon increase tax on diesel, to be phased in over three years, ending 2021, then indexed to inflation. Additionally, it would establish a 10-percent user fee on the wholesale price of electric batteries in vehicles.

“On September 30, 2028, the rates for these user fees become zero,” the infrastructure plan reads.

“This discussion draft does not represent a complete and final infrastructure bill,” Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Shuster, who is retiring at the end of his term, said in a statement Monday. “It is meant to reignite discussions amongst my colleagues, and I urge all Members to be open-minded and willing to work together in considering real solutions that will give America the modern day infrastructure it needs.”

“Over the coming weeks and months, I look forward to additional input from my Republican and Democratic colleagues in order to prepare a bill for congressional consideration,” he added.

The plan confirms anonymous reports from February that speculated Republicans met with Trump to discuss adding the gas tax in order to pay for Trump’s massive $1-trillion infrastructure plan.

Trump made infrastructure a campaign issue during the 2016 campaign trail. Although at first he proposed a half-trillion dollar plan, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported, he doubled the spending plan to $1 trillion in a plan in April 2017, and then proposed spending $1.5 trillion in his State of the Union address Jan. 30.

Trump’s plan proposed greatly cutting regulations in order to speed up the process of building the infrastructure and make it cheaper.

“It can take anywhere between 10, if you’re really good, 10 years to 20 years, and then they vote and you lose,” Trump said in April 2017. “It costs sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars just to go through the process.”

Another Republican introduced a CO2 tax, though that plan isn’t likely to pass as several influential free-market and anti-tax groups have voiced opposition to the proposal. (RELATED: Taxpayer Groups Coalescing Against Carbon Tax Proposal)

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo drafted legislation that would add a $23-per-ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions, impacting oil refining, coal mining and a wide range of industrial activities. The revenue would go mostly to highway funding.

Curbelo’s plan, however, isn’t expected to be revenue-neutral, TheDCNF reported.

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