Blog: Higher federal tax on US gasoline?
Dave Leggett | 2 December 2010
Is this the automotive industry equivalent of turkeys voting for Christmas or is it an unpalatable measure whose time has come?
Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl has called for a hefty increase to the US Federal Gas Tax. He's arguing that it would be right as a means to nudge the industry towards a more fuel-efficient future. I recall Bill Ford making similar comments not so long ago.
It would also raise a lot of much-needed tax revenue for Uncle Sam.
As for the US fiscal deficit, well, no easy answers there and tackling it – through reduced public spending and/or higher taxes - is bound to bring some pain. We also have that uncomfortable conundrum here in Britain (and we are used to high taxes at the petrol pump which are basically a blatant tax grab that goes into the general government spending kitty, not ring-fenced for transport infrastructure, which was the original intention).
Maybe a higher tax on petrol in the US, while not exactly a pleasing prospect for many, would at least bring some longer-term positives and be preferable to some other options under consideration. It's a policy option that at least deserves to be debated and in the mix.
Has its time come? As Jeremy Anwyl notes, probably not, but it is no longer crazy talk.
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