Blog: Dave LeggettHigher 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.

Why I Support an Increase in the Federal Gas Tax


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