Union delivers duct tape to lawmakers to mark gas tax anniversary

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“We can’t duct tape our way out of this crisis,” O’Sullivan said in a statement. “We are seeing the result in collapsed bridges, roads so congested commerce and people cannot efficiently move and a rising cost to motorists and taxpayers as deterioration continues.”

The last federal gas tax increase, a 4.3 cents-per-gallon hike, was passed under former President Clinton.

The 1993 gas tax is not the Clinton administration anniversary that most political observers are referencing on Tuesday with the federal government shutting down for the first since 1995.

O’Sullivan said lawmakers will have to act quickly to fix a shortfall in transportation funding that has reached approximately $20 billion after they reopen the government. The current transportation law, which spends about $54 billion per year on road and transit projects, is scheduled to expire in September 2014.

“LIUNA supports a bigger discussion and bolder vision of how our nation invests in critical infrastructure but that cannot preclude facing the reality that we currently invest in transportation through a mechanism which is poorly designed and has been frozen for 20 years,” O’Sullivan said. “Congress should consider options such as indexing or increasing the gas tax.”

Prior to Tuesday’s government shutdown, lawmakers had begun holding hearings about transportation funding in recent weeks.

The chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), proposed switching from a gas tax that is paid at the pump by drivers to a fee on wholesale oil purchases.