Trump states would bear brunt of gas tax increase: conservative groups
An increase on the federal gas tax that’s being considered by the Trump administration would hit states that voted for President Trump in 2016 the hardest, according to a report released Tuesday by two groups backed by the conservative Koch brothers.
An analysis from two groups tied to Republican mega-donors Charles and David Koch released Tuesday finds that nine out of the top ten states that would be affected the most by a proposal to raise the tax on gasoline by 25 cents supported Trump. The results were reached using a model that analyzed tax rates and fuel usage.
“Every American stands to lose under this proposal, but some would be more heavily impacted than others,” the report reads.
According to the groups’ analysis, Mississippi would feel the tax increase the most, with the proposed tax costing households on average $391 annually. Wyoming follows at an average of $380 annually, and South Carolina comes next at $377. Trump won all three states in his 2016 election defeat of Hillary Clinton.
The Koch political network has come out against the proposal, putting them at odds with the Trump administration as the White House considers the tax to raise money for infrastructure spending, a major goal for the administration in 2018.
The group funds dozens of Republican candidates who are up for reelection in November’s midterm elections, and have pledged to spend $400 million in the 2018 races alone.
A plan recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would raise the tax by 5 cents per year over 5 years, a tax increase that would cost Americans an average of $9 more per month on gas.
The Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal does not contain the tax hike, but lawmakers who attended a meeting last week with the president say Trump seemed fixated on the idea.
“President Trump came back to the idea of a 25 cent increase several times throughout the meeting,” Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said in a statement after meeting with Trump.
“While there are a number of issues on which President Trump and I disagree, today, we agreed that things worth having are worth paying for, and the president even offered to help provide the leadership necessary so that we could do something that has proven difficult in the past,” he added.
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