Mileage-Based Tax Not the Answer to Our Nation’s Infrastructure Needs

Rather than taxing citizens in a recession we must repeal wasteful government programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) issued the following response to Rep. James Oberstar’s (D-Minn) call for a mileage-based tax to pay for highway programs.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman said, “Why do we need a pilot program? Why don’t we just phase it in?” A mileage-based tax is extremely unpopular in the states with the burden placed on rural communities and agricultural drivers who haven’t seen the benefits of highway programs in years.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said, “If Congress is serious about highway funding, it will repeal the Davis-Bacon Act which increases the cost of all federally funded projects rather than try and raise taxes during a recession. If we want people to use less of something, you tax it and regulate it. This is nothing more than a backdoor attempt to force Americans off of gas to further the Pelsoi-Reid-Obama union-backed green agenda!”

The Davis-Bacon Act, passed in the 1930s, is a survey largely filled out by labor unions which supposedly determines the “prevailing wage” for federally funded highway projects. Current Davis-Bacon wage surveys have a 100% error rate as identified by the Office of Inspector General which inflates wages on average by 22 percent nation-wide. This skewed wage inflates construction costs by $8.6 billion every single year.

“Before everyone drinks the Washington tax-hike kool-aid, the public should know that because of the Davis-Bacon Act, only three bridges as opposed to six can get fixed due to the inflated wages the unions demand,” warns Norquist. “Rather than raise taxes, if Congressman Oberstar is serious about infrastructure needs, your state with repeal bloated government policies – not raise taxes!”

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