According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as the Highway Trust Fund is running out of funding, the most viable idea to replenish the vaults is to introduce a new tax for US companies with overseas income.
The needed funding is due to the rising cost of building and maintaining highways and bridges in the US, with the usual way – tax collected from motorists fuel consumption can’t keep up the pace. The Congress is also reluctant to increase the old, 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax, that is charged from US drivers.
“The moment is dire,” Foxx said. The trust fund “is quickly running toward insolvency. Right now our proposal is the best way to thread the needle and get something done,” said Foxx. “This is a big problem for the country and we’ve got to deal with it,” he added.
So far, President Barack Obama came up with a four-year, $302 billion proposal that would have at least $150 billion raised through taxes on overseas earnings. In order to accelerate the bill’s adoption, the US president is traveling today to New York to talk about infrastructure needs – using as an example the 58-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, which was initially designed to only last half a century and now needs a $3.9 billion consolidation or replacement.