On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to support the Transportation Empowerment Act, S. 3190, introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The bill would gradually reduce the federal gas tax and give states more control over their respective transportation and infrastructure needs.
The current approach to federal transportation policy is broken. The federal Highway Trust Fund is in terrible fiscal shape. The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the fund will not be able to meet its obligations by 2021.
Many members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, believe that simply increasing the federal gas tax is the solution or continuing to bail out the fund. They’re wrong. With more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, what is needed is a new approach to transportation and infrastructure, one that significantly lessens the influence of federal bureaucrats in Washington and reduces wasteful spending from the fund.
The Transportation Empowerment Act preserves the role of the federal government in maintaining the Interstate Highway System. But the bill would leave transportation and infrastructure development for individual states to determine by cutting out the federal middleman. After all, states know their transportation and infrastructure needs better than federal bureaucrats.
The bill would gradually reduce the federal gas tax from the current rate of 18.3 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents per gallon over the next five years and immediately lower the kerosene and diesel tax from 24.3 cents per gallon to 5 cents per gallon. It would terminate the federal Mass Transit Account and transfer the balance to the Highway Account.
The transformative approach that would be taken through the Transportation Empowerment Act is the right one. By cutting out the federal middleman, states will have more control over how tax dollars are spent on transportation and infrastructure projects. For these reasons, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to support the Transportation Empowerment Act, S. 3190.