TN Sen. Bob Corker* along with D-Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut have brought forth a new proposal that would raise gas taxes by 12 cents over the next two years with the money going to the Highway Trust Fund. Corker explained the roads, bridges and railway system have to be fixed since we’re losing “millions of dollars of economic productivity”.
So, how does one create a new tax , but still make the public believe they are not raising taxes? By taking a look at some temporary tax-credits and making them permanent. Specifically, the “research and development tax credit, the state and local sales tax deduction, the teacher tax credit and the deduction for parking at mass transit sites. “
The Trust Fund is set to run out and with it could go hundreds of thousands of jobs. So, there’s a push to get something done fast. BTW, right now, 18 cents of every gallon you buy goes into this national fund, 22 cents if you’re running diesel.
The infrastructure has to be managed. Fixed or replaced when necessary. No one is arguing that fact, since everyone uses the roads for something. Even if you’ve never driven on a highway, much of what you use on a daily basis requires roads or rails to eventually get to your house. The question is does it require a tax increase to make it happen and are there other options. Another question. It is supposed to happen over a two year period. Do you honestly believe after two years the DC will allow it to actually expire. Do you think they will suddenly let us keep our 12 cents a gallon?
Why this new tax has gone under the radar, I don’t know. Republicans in general and Conservatives in particular use to be against new taxes, or more taxes. Here, Corker & Friends want to try a bait and switch by adding on a tax for all who put fuel in the tank, while giving a credit to several groups who benefit from a small tax credit. A nickel and a penny now, and a nickel and a penny later…they add up.
For the record, I could actually benefit from one of the credits… the “state and local sales tax deduction” would become permanent for me, I think. But I’d be glad to give it up because I think this gas tax would hit home to far more people.
* He is occasionally tagged a Republican, though as with most pols from my state I can’t figure out why.