Thursday, April 17, 2008

Highway builders hate McCain's gas tax holiday idea

Don't count on Republican presidential candidate John McCain's call for a gas tax moratorium to go anywhere real quick. The highway builders hate it, and transit folks aren't wild about it, either.

"This proposal would have devastating impacts upon the federal-aid highway and transit programs, sharply reducing funding available to states and jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide," said John Horsely, director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. "Such a move would be short-sighted and damaging to our nation's economy, while providing little relief to America's drivers."

AASHTO estimates that for the average motorists, driving approximately 12,000 miles per year, the savings would amount to roughly $28, less than the cost of a half tank of gasoline.

Meanwhile, the American Public Transit Association said much the same thing.

Now is the time for leadership on transportation issues, not pandering to voters with an alleged “quick fix” to the economy through the suspension of federal gas taxes through the summer months. With gas prices at an all time high, it is an easy thing to suggest the removal of the gas tax. However, stating that the suspension of gas taxes from Memorial Day to Labor Day ostensibly to help our economy hides the real truth -- that America’s transportation is intertwined with our high standard of living and prosperity. To cut back transportation infrastructure investment endangers, not boosts, our economy, our jobs and our way of life.

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