From structurally deficient bridges to dilapidated roads, there’s no question our infrastructure suffers from a lack of funding. Fortunately, most Americans are now willing to pay to reverse this trend.
According to a recent Bloomberg national poll, 55 percent of Americans say they would pay a higher gas tax to repair their infrastructure. Even more significant is the bipartisan support, with 51 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of democrats supporting the increase.
Popular support has been growing recently, yet U.S. Congress’ appetite still seems tepid toward an increase. Trump told Bloomberg in May that increasing the gas tax is something that he would consider as long as the proceeds were dedicated to improving U.S. highways.
States have already been leading the charge. In the past four years, 26 states have raised or updated their gas taxes, including eight this year.. The bipartisan interest goes beyond voters. Republicans have successfully lead efforts to raises taxes or fees for transportation in Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah, and there are active proposals in at least nine other states to increase revenues. While these state increases have been helpful, they need a strong federal partner to help keep up with the maintenance demands. “With the federal help, we can do much more than we can on our own, obviously,” said Alaska Governor Bill Walker, an independent who is seeking to triple his state fuel taxes over two years.
As voters willingness to pay more for better roads grows, it presents Congress and the President an opportunity to #FixTheTrustFund through the long-term, sustainable funding the gas tax provides.