In an interview this morning, President Trump said that he would be willing to increase taxes on gas and diesel fuel in order to pay for his massive infrastructure plan — but only out of respect for the truckers who asked him for the tax increase.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said that he “would certainly consider” hiking the nation’s gas and diesel fuel taxes in order to fund his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Trump told Bloomberg that the idea would be supported by truckers so long as the money went towards infrastructure repair.

ATA Supports Increased Diesel Tax

On April 4, members of the American Trucking Association met with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security to ask for increased U.S. investment in infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, which they say costs trucking $50 billion per year. The ATA has supported increasing the federal fuel tax for years and president Chris Spear said that “the cost of doing nothing is more expensive than a higher fuel tax.

White House Considering Tax Hike “Out of Respect” For Truckers

In a briefing earlier today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said when asked about Trump’s earlier remarks on the possible tax increase:  “What the President said in that interview was that folks from the industry had come to him and expressed to him how the deteriorating roads were affecting their ability to deliver goods and services throughout this country and that they had expressed a willingness to see something like that as a way to help pay for and repair the roads and bridges. And that he said that he — out of respect — would definitely listen to them and consider it.

Spicer went on to note that the President isn’t directly pursuing a gas tax increase at this time — only that he is considering it because members of the trucking industry said that they wanted the tax increase.

The current federal tax rate for gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. For diesel fuel, the current federal tax rate is 24.4 cents per gallon. The last time these taxes were raised was 1993.

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