Mike Palicz

New Gas Tax Hike in Shuster's HTF Plan

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018, 3:59 PM PERMALINK

Americans should not have to pay more at the pump because Washington can’t curb its spending addiction. At a time when Americans are just beginning to see the benefits of tax cuts, some members in Congress are eager to pry open taxpayer wallets to pay for their misuse of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

The U.S. could see its first federal gas tax hike since 1993 under Representative Bill Shuster’s (R-PA) new plan to fund the HTF. Shuster’s plan would raise the cost of gas for Americans by introducing a 15-cent gasoline tax increase, raising the current gas tax from 18.4 cents per gallon to 33.4 cents per gallon, indexed to inflation.

As ATR President Grover Norquist pointed out in a letter to Congress this year, rather than increasing gas taxes on consumers, Congress should focus its attention on using existing revenue more appropriately.

“A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than 50 percent of the HTF spending went to non-road-related projects, while 15 percent of federal gas tax revenue is diverted to the Mass Transit Account…”

Shuster’s plan would also raise the tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents and introduce a volunteer pilot program that would tax drivers on a per-mile traveled basis as a replacement to taxes on gasoline or diesel. This pilot program would serve as a test trial for replacing the gas tax in 2028 with a Vehicle Miles Traveled program.

The draft proposal also introduces a host of new taxes, including;

  • Electric Vehicle Battery Excise Tax - 10% tax on the wholesale price of electric batteries used to propel motor vehicles.
  • Diesel Tax on Passenger Trains - 4.3 cents per gallon tax on diesel used by passenger trains eligible for funding under certain federal public transportation programs.
  • Bicycle Tire Tax - 10% tax on the wholesale price of bike tires.
  • Floor Stocks Taxes - Imposes a floor stocks tax on certain fuels under limited circumstances.

You can view the full discussion draft of the plan here.


Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Photo

KEY VOTE: ATR Urges "YES" Vote on Scalise-Mckinley Anti-Carbon Tax Resolution

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018, 1:06 PM PERMALINK

H.Con.Res. 119, introduced by Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. David McKinley, sends a clear message to American Taxpayers that a Republican led Congress will continue to put America first in its energy policy and strongly oppose any attempt to implement the disastrous carbon tax.

ATR urges a YES vote on H.Con.Res. 119

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on H.Con.Res. 119 - Expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy. All Republican members of Congress should vote YES on this important resolution expressing opposition to a carbon tax. This same resolution passed in 2016 without a single Republican vote against it. This resolution deserves strong affirmation again in 2018.

“The carbon tax is a plan designed to harm American manufacturers, raise prices for every single American consumer, and prop up uncompetitive expensive sources of energy like solar and wind,” said Paul Blair, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Americans for Tax Reform. “Killing a carbon tax dead in its tracks isn’t only good policy, it’s a basic IQ test for modern day conservatives.”

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, American voters deserve to know where their elected Representatives stand on an energy tax that would raise the cost of getting to work, heating their homes and nearly all consumer goods they purchase.

By voting YES on H.Con.Res. 119 Republican members of Congress have an opportunity to draw a contrast between the Republican agenda and the radical left’s attempt to increase taxes and the cost of energy for all American consumers.   

Photo Credit: Craig Fildes

A New Infrastructure Plan that Doesn’t Raise the Gas Tax

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Posted by Mike Palicz on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018, 10:09 AM PERMALINK

In June, U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) introduced a new bill aimed at funding infrastructure projects in America’s poorest communities without raising any taxes. The plan, which funds infrastructure investment by selling off distressed government assets, could provide a pathway forward for a larger infrastructure package that would cost taxpayers nothing.

This bill represents an alternative approach to inefficient infrastructure schemes that raise revenue by increasing taxation, most of which involve raising the harmful gas tax. Instead of a tax hike on Americans paying at the pump, the GAIIN Act manages to stay out of taxpayers’ pockets while actually diminishing government waste and debt.

This legislation, called the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act, is designed to require the Department of Agriculture to sell off an estimated $50 billion worth of wasteful government assets. Half of the proceeds will be used to reduce the national debt and half will be used to fund infrastructure spending in poor communities. If successful, the plan could serve as a blueprint for further infrastructure funding as federal agencies currently hold a combined estimate of $2 trillion in debt and lease assets across all agencies.

In his press release, Rep. Kelly asserted that there is precedent to such an approach and that the GAIIN Act is modeled off of President Ronald Reagan’s method to raise funds in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. The GAIIN Act is expected to be heard in committee in the near future and is supported by President Trump.

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