Five Myths About Gas Taxes
A dramatic 40 percent drop in oil prices since June has prompted new discussion about raising the long-static federal gasoline tax and has many states considering gas tax hikes as well. At the federal level, Congress hasn’t increased the tax in more than 20 years, leaving it at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993 — when gas cost a mere $1 a gallon. Among states, gas taxes average about 23.5 cents a gallon. Should we be paying more? Misconceptions about the history and politics of gas taxes are clouding the debate.
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Paul Bledsoe is president of Bledsoe & Associates, LLC, a strategic public policy firm specializing in national and global communications on tax policy, energy, natural resources, and climate change, among other issues.