In recent months, headlines have focused on how drivers are finally finding relief at the pump. Gas prices have been falling steadily throughout the year and, in many locations, have even dropped below the $3 per gallon mark. However, that relief may be short-lived, as Congress is currently considering implementing a federal gas tax hike in 2014.
The Washington Post reported that the House of Representatives introduced a bill Dec. 4 that would raise the national gasoline tax by 15 cents per gallon. Because improved vehicle maintenance and efficiency are making it easier for drivers to get more miles out of their gas tanks, they aren't making as many trips to the gas station, and that has decreased the funds traditionally garnered from the tax.
"Congress hasn't dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Washington Post. "With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit."
Blumenauer added the average driver is now, on average, paying about half as much per mile as they were in 1993. That gap has led to some financial concerns in the transportation sector, and to access funding to improve infrastructure, the government wants to close the gap.