Originally Posted by ardecila
I wonder why states have not stepped into the breach and raised the gas tax themselves. Many cities have formed toll road authorities, but those only pay for a limited set of improvements to the freeway system. In reality the entire system of local roads and transit systems needs serious investment as well.
It's as politically unpalatable at the state level as it is at the natonal level. As shown above, Americans think they pay "too much" as it is. It's almost a political third rail. Here in Michigan, the former Dem governor (and her Dem house) didn't even want to touch a gas tax increase until 2009, something the state transit associations and organizations had been pushing for for years
. The idea died about as quickly as it was broached. It's funny, because when she finally did advocate for it, they changed it to a phased in wholesale tax to make sure consumers would feel it more gradually than just plain raising it at the pump.
Last month, our new Republican governor even took out a special message to the legislature on the issue of infrastructure to advocate for the same scrapping of the tax at the pump for a wholesale tax. With the new and totally Republican-controlled legislature, it's even more dead this time than when Granholm proposed it.