Can you imagine gasoline prices going up another 40-cents a gallon? That’s the recommendation of a federal panel studying ways to pay for needed repairs to the nation’s highways and bridges. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s a terrible idea to raise the federal gas tax.
Grassley, a Republican, says: "We would surely go into a recession if we were to increase the gas tax by 40-cents right now. High energy costs are one of the reasons that there’s a possibility of a recession." The study from the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission called for raising the gas tax as a way to head off future incidents like last summer’s bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
Grassley says there’s got to be an alternative for paying for inspections, repairs and new construction. He says: "I think we’re going to have to look at some different ways of determining the financing of highways. Right now, I’m not looking very favorably at an increase in the gas tax, but mostly right now, because everybody thinks gas is too high already."
The federal gas tax hasn’t moved since 1993. Triple-A says gasoline is currently averaging three-dollars six-cents a gallon nationwide and $3.01 in Iowa. A year ago, a gallon of gas in Iowa cost $2.12.