Americans for Tax Reform is troubled by recent suggestions that the next highway bill will include new taxes to pay for transportation spending. The shortfall facing the Highway Trust Fund is not a matter of too little revenue; it is a consequence of too much spending. Lawmakers who pursue tax hikes to inflate the trust fund will signal they are unwilling to tackle the real challenges of fixing transportation spending.
Federal funding practices prevent smart spending on crucial infrastructure. Gas tax receipts are not used to build roads but pilfered for more politically popular transit and recreation projects. Limited resources are wasted fulfilling outdated labor laws that drive up the cost of federal construction projects. The strings tied to highway dollars sent to the states induce local lawmakers to spend inefficiently and unwisely on unmerited projects.
ATR encourages lawmakers to confront these challenges and remains opposed to efforts to raise taxes to pay for more highway spending