Rep. Davis: Gas tax not a long-term solution for infrastructure plan

Rodney Davis
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis says raising the gas tax isn’t the answer especially as cars are using less of it. (WJBC file photo)

By Eric Stock

WASHINGTON – Only a small fraction of the funding included in President Trump’s proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan actually comes from the federal government.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin the funding is intended to provide incentives to state’s who have identified construction projects by offering what he calls a ‘booster shot’ for local government that have identified projects and have a funding source.

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Davis on WJBC.

What about state’s like Illinois that might not have the money?

“The state’s going to have to do a better job and frankly with an infrastructure bill like this, hopefully it forces them into it,” Davis said.

White House officials, have said state and local governments can raise fuel, property or other taxes or user fees to help fund the infrastructure plan.

Davis said raising the gas tax isn’t the answer especially as cars are using less of it.

“If you raise the gas tax and at the same time tell manufacturers to manufacture engines that use less of it, your revenue stream continues to go down,” Davis said. “Electric vehicles pay nothing into the highway trust fund. We’ve got to diversity and bring them into the mix.”

Davis suggests local governments can set side the money they already get from the federal government in fuel taxes to earmark for construction projects they want done.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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