Garrett Criticizes Transportation Commission Gas Tax Hike
US Representative Scott Garrett (NJ-5) condemned the massive gas tax increase recommended by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, in a report mandated by Congress in SAFETEA-LU in 2005. This proposed increase of up to 40 cents per gallon within five years and as much as 91 cents in 20 years would dramatically impact millions of Americans across the nation.
Responding to the report, Rep. Garrett stated:
"American taxpayers are once again expected to foot the bill for Washington's addictive tax and spend habits. Increasing gas taxes is not the answer to our transportation woes. Legislators need to work to spend current funds smarter on needed repairs and improvements. Too much is wasted now on pet transportation projects, photo opportunities and pork barrel spending.
"I commend Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters and the two other dissenting commissioners who took a strong stance against this absurd proposal. It is my hope that Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle will also fight this tax hike at the pump and work instead to spend transportation funds in a responsible manner which actually benefits the commuters on the road."
Rep. Garrett has been a strong voice in Washington for solving our nation's transportation troubles. During consideration of SAFETEA-LU, Garrett fought for report language to encourage this Commission to consider creative alternatives to taxes for funding infrastructure improvements. He has also authored legislation, the STATE (Surface Transportation and Taxation Equity) Act, which returns primary responsibility for transportation and infrastructure projects back to the states without increasing taxes. Garrett's bill would give states the ability to prioritize projects based on safety, traffic needs, and improved commerce instead of being subject to federal mandates and earmarks. The STATE Act has received praise from the CATO Institute, Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, and National Taxpayers Union, as well as Secretary Peters.