Donald Trump may raise the gas tax for the first time in 20 years (illustrated)
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One of Trump’s earliest promises as president-elect was a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan — he wanted to push it through in his first 100 days and create lots of jobs.

That didn’t happen, obviously. But now that the tax bill finally did, it just might be time.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a major lobbying group for big business, wants Trump to raise the gas tax for the first time in 25 years. That would mean the cost of your gas would go up — probably in the ballpark of 25 cents per gallon.

Trump himself has privately suggested raising it by twice as much, according to his second-favorite (after CNN) purveyor of fake news, The Washington Post. $6 more at every fill-up wouldn’t bother him — even if he had to drive anything more than a golf cart — but it’s not nothing for most of us.

Worth it?

The current gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and hasn’t been tweaked since 1993. So it hasn’t kept up with inflation or increasing fuel economy. An increase is certainly justifiable, especially if it makes our roads and bridges safer and accomplished Trump’s goal of creating jobs.

It could also fund a lot more job-creating projects, including in rural areas, than the White House originally envisioned a year ago. It could help finance high-speed rail, which could make further commutes possible and open up the door to more job opportunities while spurring more development.

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It would also have the added benefit of countering a big criticism against Trump — that he doesn’t care at all about the environment. Raising the gas tax would spur at least a little interest in hybrid and electric vehicles. Of course, pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and pushing big new taxes on solar don’t help his image any.

No guarantees Trump won’t change his mind

There’s no telling whether what Trump suggests in private (or in public) actually ends up in the final infrastructure plan. A leaked early draft of the infrastructure plan doesn’t include any gas tax hike.

What it does say is that half the trillion would go toward an incentive program to get states and municipalities to fund their own projects. Translation: They’re gonna raise taxes on you even if Trump doesn’t, so they can get a slice of that infrastructure pie.

Another quarter of the funding would be used to make grants for rural transportation and rural broadband internet access. Ten percent would go toward “transformational” projects that probably couldn’t get funded any other way. It’s not clear what that means, but we’ll likely hear something about it in Trump’s State of the Union address.

There’s also no telling what Congress will actually support. Oddly enough, Trump is more likely to get more support on taxing gas from Democrats, who also support more roadway tolls to fund projects, than his own party. And once he does, he could turn back to Republicans for more favorable deals on tax breaks for infrastructure projects and cutting the red tape.

But first he has to get past the hurdle that always trips him up — that he never has any clue what he’s talking about, so he’s never in a position to “make great deals.”

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Article last modified on January 25, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Now Trump Wants to Raise Your Taxes? - AMP.

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Article last modified on January 25, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC .