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News Link • TAXES: State

Gas Taxes Not Long-Term Answer For Infrastructure Funding

• Adam Millsap - Forbes

Several states have increased gas taxes over the last few years to raise money for infrastructure maintenance. Proponents of gas tax increases insist the money is needed to repair and upgrade infrastructure. But while there may be pressing infrastructure needs in many states, the gas tax is not the long-term funding answer. Gas taxes are not without problems. Sometimes, the money is not used on what people think it's being used on. A recent audit of Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation found that $4.25 billion meant for transportation projects was instead used on state police. A gas tax loses some of its economic efficiency when it funds things unrelated to transportation. There are also opportunities to privatize some infrastructure. The operation of toll roads, bridges, tunnels, parking garages, and bus systems can all be privatized. Privatization frees up public funding for infrastructure that's more difficult for the private sector to operate or build. Blockc

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