NATSO, the national association representing truckstops and travel plazas, today applauded a proposal by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to raise the federal motor fuels tax and index it to inflation.

Rep. Blumenauer’s proposal would increase the federal excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel five cents a year for the next five years. After 2023, the federal gasoline tax would increase to 43.3 cents per gallon and the federal diesel tax would increase to 49.3 cents per gallon. After 2024, the motor fuels tax would be adjusted for inflation.

“We thank Congressman Blumenauer for his leadership in introducing legislation that will increase funding for infrastructure through the fairest and most efficient means possible,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “Construction costs and motor vehicle fuel efficiency have continued to climb, but the federal diesel and gas taxes are the same as they were in 1993 when a gallon of gasoline averaged $1.11 per gallon. The buying power of the federal fuel tax has plummeted.”

NATSO has long held that increasing the motor fuels taxes represents the most efficient means of increasing critical infrastructure revenues. NATSO opposes short-sighted proposals such as tolling existing interstates and commercializing rest areas.

The Highway Trust Fund currently is funded by an 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon tax on diesel. The federal fuel tax was last increased in 1993. Over the past 25 years, construction and maintenance costs have increased and the fuel tax has remained stagnant, eroding the buying power of the tax by 40 percent.

“It is a fact that we need more funding for roads and bridges. Every day that we fail to invest more in our infrastructure, we pay the price in increased fatal accidents, traffic congestion, and higher cost of goods,” Mullings said. “As America’s aging roads and bridges continue to feel the strain, it is time for our leaders in Washington, D.C., to do the right thing by raising the nation’s motor fuels taxes and invest in our nation’s global competitiveness.”