The Gas Tax Makes Sense. Biden Considers Canceling It.

“Fuel taxes paid by motorists are collected in the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is then spent building and maintaining the roads and bridges those same drivers use. The federal gas taxes, excluding the tax on diesel, make up about 60 percent of tax revenue dedicated to the Highway Trust Fund.

Fairness demands charging drivers for the roads. The only alternative would be to require nonmotorists to subsidize driving infrastructure for them.

A user fee-like fuel tax also keeps road spending in line with demand for roads. It’s harder to fund bridges to nowhere if people’s fuel consumption, and the taxes they pay on it, aren’t generating enough revenue for new projects.

Suspending the gas tax, therefore, makes road spending less fair and less efficient. It would also be fiscally costly. Road construction and maintenance don’t become free just because gas prices are high. Suspending the gas tax only gives road users a break from paying for it.”

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