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Blumenauer Reintroduces Fuel Tax Increase

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. 680 on Feb. 4 to allow passage of the first comprehensive, six-year transportation bill since 1997.

The proposal, the Update, Promote, and Develop America's Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, would phase in a 15-cent-per-gallon increase in motor fuels taxes that would be dedicated to public transportation and highway programs, index those taxes to inflation and examine ways to replace the taxes with a longer-term stable source of funding.

"Congress hasn't dealt seriously with the funding issue for over 20 years and it's time to act. The gas tax used to be an efficient road user fee, but with inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit," said Blumenauer, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy commended Blumenauer. "APTA urges Congress to enact a bill that increases dedicated revenues for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), and the UPDATE Act is a sensible and effective way to address our nation's transportation needs," Melaniphy said, noting that APTA supports an increase in motor fuels taxes because they are user-based and the most cost-efficient way to provide a steady revenue stream to the HTF.

The bill is supported by a wide range of leaders, including those representing unions, engineers, trucking, bicyclists and equipment manufacturers.
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