May 19, 2015
Imagine setting out on a long trip planning to buy gasoline a gallon at a time and hope it lasts until the next station.
That’s pretty much how Congress has been funding road and transit projects for the past six years. Every few months, it passes a temporary measure, called a “patch.” Patch No. 32 will run out at the end of this month. And the strong likelihood is that it will be followed by No. 33. The House passed its version Tuesday. It lasts all the way until July 31.
The patches are needed because not enough federal gas tax money is flowing into the Highway Trust Fund. Vehicles are more fuel efficient, and the federal gas tax hasn’t been raised in 22 years. Because of inflation, the 18.4-cent-a-gallon tax enacted in 1993 buys only 11.3 cents today. Read on…