Buttigig raised gas tax hikes despite worrying about regressive effects

To pump more money into the tragic trust trust fund, Pete Buttig, named Secretary of Transportation, expressed openness to a federal gas tax increase.

During its confirmation hearing on Thursday, a former mayor of South Bend, Ind., Was asked by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla, about a tax increase to help fund the fund’s infrastructure.

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“Well, I think all options need to be on the table,” Batigiag said. “As you know, the gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and it has never been judged for inflation. And this is one of the reasons that the current position of the Highway Trust Fund is that it has More than that. “

Batigiag said the funding transfer has helped widen the gap, but has questioned whether Congress will continue to do so. He said that for now, the US “needs a solution that can provide some predictability and stability.”

While he did not rule out doing so through the gas tax hike, Batigiag questioned how practical this approach could be in the future if the country moves towards electric cars.


“In the long term, we also have to keep in mind that as vehicles move more efficient and as we pursue electrification, questions will arise about whether gas tax can be effective at all. ,” They said.

Pete Named Pete Buttig, Secretary of Transportation, speaks during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s confirmation hearing on Thursday, January 21, 2021, in Washington. (Via Ken Kadeno / Pool AP)
((Ken KenDeno / Pool via AP))

“In short for the medium term,” Batigiag, however, said a solution could mean “the recapitulation of the gas tax, adjusting it and / or linking it to inflation.”

Sen. Mike-R, U-Utah, brought the gas tax again at a later hearing, asking if the US had “overacted” itself with the Highway Trust Fund. Batigiag said “there is a recognition that we do not have enough national resources going into roads and highways,” adding that “we need to focus on any responsible, viable revenue mechanism, we are all about that.” Can agree to do something. “

Asked whether this could include raising the gas tax, Batigiag remained noncommittal, but would not dismiss it.

“Well, it’s possible,” he said. “Certainly many states have taken this step, including my own, but this is not the only way.”

Under questioning from Lee, Batigiag admitted that the gas tax could have a bad effect on the poor.

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“While certainly one of the concerns with the gas tax, it’s probably not as progressive as the federal income tax, for example,” Buttigieg said.

A federal gas tax increase has been discussed for years. Members of both parties have supported it in the past, and lawmakers said in 2018 that former President Donald Trump was in favor of a 25 percent increase.

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