Latest posts by Taylor Smith (see all)
- Heartland Joins Coalition Opposing Federal Gas Tax Hike - January 28, 2015
- Reject the E15 Mandate - December 11, 2014
- Reducing Ohio’s Renewable-Power Mandate is Progress, Not Regression - November 2, 2014
The Heartland Institute has recently signed a coalition letter led by Americans for Prosperity urging Congress to oppose legislation that would hike the federal gasoline tax.
The plan was introduced by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), and proposes hiking the tax by 12 cents over two years and indexing it to inflation. USA Today reports Sens. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) have also entertained the idea.
Naturally, such an idea gets floated around every time gas prices take a temporary dip, but the idea only gets worse each time it’s proposed, not better.
The reason is today’s vehicles are more efficient than they’ve ever been, which means a high tax on gasoline prices will disproportionately burden those with lower-incomes, who are more likely to own older, less fuel-efficient vehicles.
Secondly, in an economic environment that’s mostly experienced slow job growth and stagnating wages recently, AFP’s Brent Gardner wisely points out falling gas prices are the “first significant relief many Americans have experienced in years.” And it’d be foolish to think prices will stay low for very long. With crude oil prices in the forty dollar range – production can and likely will be cut. Meanwhile, consumption has been rising, according to the 2014 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. And consumption has been forecast to continue rising, according to the International Energy Agency. The whole history of oil is filled with supply/demand imbalances that have taken place only to correct itself a short while later. Congress should avoid increasing the federal gasoline tax and phase it out altogether instead.
Read the letter here.