9/13: Should federal gas tax be extended?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The federal gas tax — 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993 — expires Sept. 30. It generates roughly $32 billion, most of it distributed to states for road construction and repairs. President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass an extension of the tax. Some conservatives want to abolish it and allow states to raise and spend their own money. Two Georgia congressmen debate the issue.

Congressman Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who represents the 4th district, believes that yes, Funding infrastructure is critical to grow our economy, create jobs.

But Congressman Tom Graves. R-Ga., who represents the 9th District, argues that no, the Feds have mishandled gas-tax revenues, mistreated Georgia.

What do you think?

27 comments Add your comment


September 13th, 2011
12:23 pm

Perfect opportunity to get money paid to the fed back into state hands. Georgia could certainly benefit from 18.4 cents per gallon in tax to fund road projects inside the state. As long as the money could only be used for transportation funding, and GDOT is made to be more transparent in how the money is spent, it’s all good.


September 13th, 2011
12:20 pm

If all we’re doing is sending money to Washington so they can send it back to us, let’s cut out the middle man and take care of ourselves. I think we residents of Georgia are smart enough to figure out how to raise revenues for transportation infrastructure. And if we’re not, it’s nobody else’s business.

Road Scholar

September 13th, 2011
12:20 pm

Gwinnett: $350M is a drop in the bucket that is needed for improving our infrastructure and creating jobs.

I favor letting the Federal tax be turned into the state tax. Right now each state gets back 92% of the federal tax. The feds keep 8% for R&D (good) and their expenses for overseeing the federal aid program. Let the states collect the tax, pay a portion for R&D, and get rid of fed oversight and regulations. That will add 30% of the original tax to project delivery. Once rid of the feds contracting regs and oversight, the state s would have 30 % more for projects.

The above does not say that the environmental regs (state and fed) would be ignored, but streamlined and put on a learning curve for document approval. That alone would save time and money!

MARTA ride

September 13th, 2011
12:02 pm

georgia would need to change the law that only gas tax be applied to roads and bridges. That way some money, even 10%, can go to alternate forms of transportation. Commuter rail between cities and public transit. This will halp everyone in the state by getting people who prefer alternate modes of transportation the option of taking trains or buses than risk their lives with these idoits of the highways.


September 13th, 2011
11:43 am

as a state resident paying state fuel taxes, property taxes,lost taxes, and splost taces, i can sau i trust the feds to spend the fed fuel taxes just as “good” as states and local governments have. F F F F F F….and its never enought for the sum@#$%

maybe if states need more tax money for roads, they can quit giving deadbeats like delta airlines tax breaks everybody else has to pay and use that money.


September 13th, 2011
11:35 am

Would love to see how the road builders and those under the gold dome divvy up this new found pot of gold.

Understanding Atlanta

September 13th, 2011
11:13 am

With so much infrastructure crumbling it’s hard for me to fathom that either the state or federal government would do much to correct it. State’s have less beaucracy and will be able to better allocate funds to what’s needed…I suspect with the way state’s have been cutting their budgets, this influx in state taxes will be used for something other than roads. Then of course, our short memory will not recall this conversation and we’ll be blaming DC for more bridges falling and roads crumbling.

Van Jones

September 13th, 2011
11:06 am

Amen David Staples!!!

Gwinnett Guy

September 13th, 2011
10:41 am

Let the 18.4 cent tax expire and replace it with a 5 cent state tax. The estimates I found show that Georgia uses about 7 billion gallons of fuel each year. This would generate 350 million dollars in tax revenue for transportation.

I would rather see this than a 1% flat sales tax on every single thing that I buy that is currently proposed.

David Staples

September 13th, 2011
10:25 am

Let the tax expire and leave road building to individual states. Perhaps it was important for the initial development of the highway system, but we now have a fairly sufficient road network. It’s ridiculous for us to continue to send money to DC only to have to beg for it back (with strings attached) later.