Hybrid tax considered to fund highways

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The recently issued study, commissioned but not endorsed by the chamber, estimated that the trust fund, financed by the federal tax on gasoline, will take in only $231 billion over the six-year course of the act, and that the highway portion of the fund would hit a zero cash balance in 2008, a year before the act expires. The report also concluded revenues from all levels of government will fall $500 billion short of what is needed just to maintain pavement and bridge conditions and traffic levels through 2015, and $1.1 trillion short of what is needed to improve the nation’s infrastructure. “Without a significant influx of new revenues,” said Associated General Contractors of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr, “our nation’s transportation network will also continue to deteriorate, impacting mobility and economic well-being.” WASHINGTON – Taxing hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars and billing drivers for miles driven are among the approaches being suggested to avert a shortfall in money to maintain the nation’s highways. Less than four months after President George W. Bush signed a six-year, $286.4 billion highway and public transit act, a report commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says the federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money and Congress needs to think about new revenue sources. “Decisions are going to have to be made in the very near future,” said Ed Mortimer, the business lobby’s director of transportation infrastructure, acknowledging it could be a tall order. The next highway bill is years away and lawmakers may be loath to return to a measure that was widely criticized for being padded with thousands of special-interest projects. The Senate came to an acrimonious halt recently when a senator suggested shifting to hurricane relief the money from two Alaskan bridge projects, including a $223 million project linking Ketchikan to a sparsely populated island with an airport that critics have dubbed the “bridge to nowhere.” Congress later removed the bridge from a list of protected projects, but money for it is still part of Alaska’s share of federal highway dollars. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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