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More than half of Americans, 55 percent, would support an increase in the federal gas tax—which has not seen an increase since 1993—to help fix infrastructure in their own states, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.
The federal per-gallon tax of 18.4 cents on gas and a 24.4-cent tax on diesel were last increased in 1993, meaning the purchasing power of the tax has significantly increased.
A narrow majority of Americans are now supporting a levy rise, with 51 percent of Republicans polled and 67 percent of Democrats surveyed backing a potential increase. Trump voters were less likely to support a federal tax increase, with 45 percent of them stating that they would be in favor, according to the Bloomberg poll.
Americans living in the cities were more in favor of a gas tax increase, with 59 percent backing a rise, compared to 48 percent of people living in rural areas that would support such a move. Residents in the Northeast are more likely to support higher tax, 65 percent, while people in the South are the least likely, 50 percent, according to the poll, likely due to the road degradation that happens during freeze/thaw/freeze cycles that is typical of that region.
President Trump is targeting US$1 trillion in infrastructure investments that will be “funded through a combination of new Federal funding, incentivized non-Federal funding, and newly prioritized and expedited projects.”
Earlier this year, President Trump flirted with the idea of raising the federal gasoline tax, but the White House Press Secretary quickly walked back the President’s comments, arguing that Trump was not specifically supporting an increase.
Despite the lack of federal gas tax increases since 1993, individual states—and even some deeply red states—have been raising state fuel taxes in recent years.
At the end of May, Richard LeFrak, who is leading a White House council on public-private partnerships to help raise money to pay for infrastructure projects, told CNBC that he would publicly support a rise in gas tax to help pay for such projects.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.