Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood on Friday said that in order for the Trump administration to pay for its proposed $1 trillion infrastructure package, it will need to raise the federal gas tax.
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“It takes an increase in the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised since 1993. If we do that, we get back to a big pot of money. The infrastructure needs a big pot of money,” he told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.”
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) told The Hill that the administration is looking into using the fuel tax to help pay for the plan.
States such as New Jersey, Wyoming, Utah and Iowa have already increased their gas taxes.
“In order to really send a message, I think a 10-cent-a-gallon increase in the gas tax, while gas prices are very low. Twenty-five states in the last three years have raised their own gas tax. They are not waiting for Washington to do it, and nobody has been thrown out of office as a result of it,” he said.
However, some of these states have been under scrutiny for misusing the money to pay for other programs.
LaHood explained how the government can ensure that the money is spent on transportation and infrastructure.
“Politicians need to bite the bullet, raise the gas tax and then the people in charge like at DOT (Department of Transportation) and in the administration need to spend the money on infrastructure. Maybe you put it in a transportation infrastructure lockbox where you actually put language in the bill that says this money cannot be spent for anything other than transportation and infrastructure,” he said.
LaHood also discussed other ways the administration can help pay for the infrastructure plan.
“Public-private partnerships will help, tolling helps, although people don’t like tolling, [and] the infrastructure bank will help,” he said.