Payne, Jr., Calls for Modernization of the Federal Gas Tax

Nov 30, 2017 Issues: Infrastructure and Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis, 51 percent of I-95 in Essex County, New Jersey, has substandard pavement. Essex County, which is in New Jersey’s Tenth Congressional District, is the worst stretch of pavement along the 1,919-mile-long highway.

It comes as no surprise to New Jerseyans that the portion of I-95 running through Essex County is in terrible shape,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “Improving I-95 will boost the economy by shortening commutes, making cargo transport more efficient, and improving highway safety.

I-95 is the victim of an underfunded Highway Trust Fund that has run a deficit for the past six years. The federal gas tax, which funds highway construction and maintenance, has not been raised in twenty-four years. Since the federal gas tax was pegged at 18.4 cents per gallon in 1993, construction costs have risen and fuel efficiency has increased. The Highway Trust Fund will dry up if it is not properly funded. Highways like I-95 will continue to crumble.

Republicans ran on a promise to rebuild America’s infrastructure, but the GOP tax scam working its way through Congress does nothing to fix the gas tax and rebuild transportation infrastructure. Raising the federal gas tax to reflect today’s economy is necessary to keep Americans safe and our economy competitive.

Rep. Payne, Jr., is a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.