Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen has become the 35th co-sponsor of the Update, Promote and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, which is a bill that proposes to raise federal gas tax to help pay for transportation projects across the U.S. reported The Hill.
This measure proposes to raise federal gas tax by 15-cents, nearly doubling the current federal tax, over the next three years in order to pay for a long term transportation bill, but Republican representatives have ruled out a tax hike to pay for the bill.
Despite strong Republican opposition, the UPDATE Act is still being considered as a possible solution to the estimated $16 billion yearly shortage in transportation funding. The current 18.4-cent tax on gasoline has been the main source of funding for transportation projects for decades, but since the 18.4-cent tax was implemented in 1993, cars have become more fuel efficient, and the government is not acquiring the funds necessary to perform the necessary transportation projects.
Democratic representatives believe that raising federal fuel tax to 33.4-cents per gallon, on top of state and local taxes, will make up for the current funding deficit, but Republican representatives are still in opposition to the proposed tax hike and they are looking for a different solution to the problem.