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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Sen. Lee introduces bill to eliminate federal gas tax


U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) last week introduced the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA), which would lower the federal gas tax over five years and eventually eliminate it.

The tax, which pays for federal transportation projects, would be cut from 18.4 cents per gallon to 3.7 cents over five years. The bill also would shift transportation infrastructure funding decisions from the U.S. Department of Transportation to a block grant program administered by the states.

"The federal government’s Highway Trust Fund is broke and another year of band aid funding is not going to fix it," Lee said in a prepared statement. "The Interstate Highway System was completed decades ago, drivers are buying less gas, and the federal government has wasted far too much money on non-highway projects."

Lee has proposed ending the federal gas tax in the past. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) plans to introduce a companion bill in the House.

"Giving states the flexibility to tackle their own infrastructure needs will lower costs while improving responsiveness to the problems unique to each community," DeSantis said in a press release issued by Lee's office.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/16/2015