Trump is reportedly open to hiking the gas tax to pay for his giant infrastructure plan

Business Insider | Feb 15, 2018, 02.33AM IST

trump truck

Carlos Barria/Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he sits on a truck while he welcomes truckers and CEOs to attend a meeting regarding healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 23, 2017.

  • President Donad Trump reportedly told lawmakers in a White House meeting that he is open to increasing the gas tax to pay for his giant infrastructure plan.
  • The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993, when it was bumped to 18.4 cents per gallon of unleaded fuel.
  • A White House official declined to discuss what came out of a closed-door meeting, but said "the gas tax has its pros and cons."

President Donald told lawmakers he would be open to an increase in the gas tax in order to help pay for his infrastructure plan, a report said.

According to Jonathan Swan at Axios, Trump said he would consider raising the gas tax 25 cents per gallon to help pay for his plan to spend $200 billion of federal funding on infrastructure over the next 10 years.

The federal gas tax has not been increased since 1993 and currently sits at 18.4 cents per gallon for unleaded and 24.4 cents for diesel.

Republicans have been split on the idea. The tax is regressive, and many lawmakers have expressed concern about the optics of increasing taxes after passing their massive tax cut bill.

"The gas tax has its pros and cons, and that's why the President is leading a thoughtful discussion on the right way to solve our nation's infrastructure problems," a White House official told Business Insider.

The official also said they would not comment on the exact discussions that took place in the meeting, but Trump was still committed to the tenants of the plan released Monday.

"As Sec. Chao mentioned yesterday, the President is focused on his 4 priorities: spurring $1.5 trillion of infrastructure investment, cutting down the burdensome permitting process from 10 years to 2, providing funding for rural infrastructure, and investing in workforce development. He has said everything is on the table in order to achieve those goals," the official said.

Trump's plan would attempt to prompt $1.3 trillion in state, local, and private investment in roads, bridges, and tunnels using the $200 billion in federal grants.

Trump held a meeting Wednesday with lawmakers from each party and chamber of Congress to discuss ways to move the package forward. As it stands, the two parties disagree fundamentally on how to pay for the investment and how much burden to place on states.

Representatives for multiple lawmakers in the meeting didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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