Nearly half of all U.S. states have raised their gasoline taxes since 2013, according to industry data compiled by Axios.
Why it matters: The trend, which includes conservative states, stands in stark contrast to the opposition that congressional Republicans and conservative interest groups have to raising the federal gas tax. President Trump has endorsed the idea of raising it to help fund his administration’s infrastructure proposal. The tax, which Congress hasn’t raised in 25 years, stands at 18.4 cents per gallon.
What’s next: A battle between two corners of Republican Party
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing a 25 cent gas tax hike as part of the broader infrastructure overhaul plan it’s pitching to Congress.
- Conservative groups led by Americans for Prosperity are fighting it. The head of that group, Tim Phillips, told Axios recently this is a top issue for the them and they’re considering running campaigns against conservatives who support such a policy.
Quoted: Phillips noted that his group succeeded in fighting off proposals to raise gas taxes in South Carolina and Tennessee for multiple years before ultimately losing. As the saying goes, it only takes one.
“You’ve seen some deep red states, Republican states pass gas taxes and we fought to the very end in each of those states.”— Tim Phillips, president, Americans for Prosperity
Our prediction: The Chamber’s proposal, despite an apparent endorsement by Trump, faces steep odds in this Congress. Many Republicans are opposed to the notion that Washington would raise taxes shortly after passing tax cuts. But both sides of this battle view the Chamber’s proposal as the beginning of a years’ long fight.