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Save the Highway Trust Fund


RR050719 HTFMay 7, 2019 – The Highway Trust Fund receives roughly 85% to 90% of its revenue from excise taxes on motor fuel, commonly known as the “gas tax.” Since 1993, fuel tax rates have been fixed at 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline, and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel. Taxes on tires and heavy vehicles (trucks) make up the rest of the fund’s income. Because the federal gas tax is not pegged to inflation and has not been raised since 1993, the purchasing power of the revenue has eroded over time — over 40% less today than in 1993. What’s more, rising construction costs and the growing needs of an aging highway system have placed a greater strain on the fund, resulting in recurring funding shortfalls in recent years. Want a comprehensive explanation of the Highway Trust Fund? Go to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's page, The Highway Trust Fund Explained.