Congressman Rodney Davis believes the federal government needs new ways to fund infrastructure repair across the country. Funding relies on the federal gas tax, which sits at 18.4 cents per gallon, but the U.S. is making less money off of that tax.
“If we were asked to raise the gas tax, at the same time auto manufacturers are being told by the federal government to make engines that use less of it,” Davis said. “It is never going to be a long term solution.”
Davis says something needs to change — and local transportation officials agree — saying the gas tax alone isn’t enough.
“We ultimately have to recognize that just funding through a gas tax is not sustainable,” Amy Snyder, Chief of Staff of Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, said. “Vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, and so if that is our funding mechanism, and we are not going to increase it, then funding is just going to go down.”
One of the funding proposals is a mileage tax. Under the tax, people would pay relative to how far they drive, rather than how much gas they put in their cars.
Davis did not say whether or not he would vote for a mileage tax. He said he wants everybody to come to the table with ideas to diversify funding. He did say that he doesn’t think a mileage tax would make it through Washington.
“You are going to see a lot of push back from folks, just because the car that I drive, is going to pay the same and it gets a lot less gas mileage than cars that are driven by others,” Davis said.