Thursday, January 8, 2015

Has cheap gas primed Congress for a tax hike?

Has cheap gas primed Congress for a tax hike?


As prices at the pump sink to their lowest levels in years, some lawmakers hope Congress is primed to increase the politically sensitive U.S. gas tax for the first time in more than two decades.

The U.S. benchmark oil price slipped below $50 per barrel on Monday, its lowest mark in nearly four years, and drivers across the nation will pay less than $2.20 per gallon on average when they fuel up this week.

The plummeting prices have led transportation experts, business lobbyists and lawmakers to insist that the coming months — as they negotiate an extension of the federal infrastructure funding bill — are their best chance in years to increase the 18.4-cent per gallon gas tax that’s used to pay for highways and mass transit.