AAA Calls for Hike in Federal Gas Tax to Help Repair U.S. Roads

Motorist organization pleased President Trump highlighted issue but called for more specifics. 

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In the wake of President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union address, AAA is urging a bipartisan effort to address the need to fix U.S. roads and bridges.

Trump's proposal involves $200 billion in federal funds, with the rest coming from state and local governments and the private sector. 

In a statement, Marshall Doney, president and CEO of the motorist club, said while AAA appreciated the president highlighting the issue, it had hoped Trump would "lay out a specific strategy." 

From the AAA's perch, a "modest increase in the federal gas tax, even just to match inflation, would provide an immediate stimulus to the Highway Trust Fund and help rebuild transportation in America, while giving our government more time to address long-term funding solutions," Doney said.

Over the past decade, the Highway Trust fund's revenue has fallen short of spending in large part because Congress has not raised the gas tax since 1993.

"We are still waiting to see the detailed plans on how to pay for these critical upgrades," Megan Foster, AAA's director, federal affairs, told The Drive. "The last gas tax increase was nearly 30 years ago and finding a long-term solution is long overdue," she added.

While the U.S. is not keeping pace with needed improvements to the nation's aging roads and bridges, investing in infrastructure would save tens of thousands of lives over coming decades, the AAA said in a report issued in May.