US Chamber of Commerce Again Calls for Raising Gas Tax

US Chamber of Commerce Again Calls for Raising Gas Tax

© Beawiharta Beawiharta / Reute

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to urge Congress to raise the gas tax for the first time in 25 years to pay for infrastructure fixes.

“This is a once-in-a-generational opportunity for federal leadership to modernize America’s infrastructure,” Ed Mortimer, the group’s executive director for transportation infrastructure, told a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing Wednesday, according to Bloomberg. “Delay is not an option.”

The federal government adds a tax of 18.4 cents a gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon on diesel. The revenue collected goes to the Highway Trust Fund, which pays for road and transit maintenance. The taxes have not been raised since 1993.

The Chamber, the largest business lobby, has proposed increasing the gas tax by 25 cents a gallon over five years and indexing it to inflation. It says such an increase would raise $394 billion in revenue over 10 years and cost the average motorist about $9 a month. The group says that’s far less than the increased maintenance and operating costs caused by deteriorating roads.

Republicans and anti-tax groups oppose increasing the gas tax.