What would a 15-cent gas tax hike mean to your bottom line? Leaders from 15 associations and labor unions think it's a good idea.

In a letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, leaders from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (ACM), and the American Public Transportation Association, and others, said the increase is necessary to support "vital transportation infrastructure improvements" and prevent cuts in highway programs.

The statement follows:

“We applaud the draft proposal released today by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform co-chairs to increase the gas tax by 15 cents to support vital transportation infrastructure improvements. This preliminary recommendation is bold, but necessary, and our organizations urge commission members to support its adoption as part of its report to Congress and the President.

“This proposal recognizes the integral relationship between improving transportation infrastructure, economic health and fiscal responsibility. If enacted, it will help prevent economically devastating cuts in federal infrastructure investment and remove the primary obstacle to passage of a multi-modal surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“The issue of transportation investment is directly linked to balancing the federal budget. Without new Highway Trust Fund revenue, policymakers will be forced either to impose highway and transit program cuts that would reduce payrolls and impede economic growth; or add an estimated $34 billion over the next six years to general fund spending. Either outcome undermines efforts to balance the budget. It is also important to recognize that a small number of transportation programs are currently funded with general funds, and those programs meet important needs and should be continued.

“We are grateful for the leadership of Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) on this issue and look forward to working with the commission, Congress and President Obama to resolve our federal budget challenges and support vital infrastructure investment.”

The following organizations released the statement:

  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
  • American Public Transportation Association
  • American Road & Transportation Builders Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America
  • National Utility Contractors Association
  • National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association
  • Portland Cement Association
  • American Concrete Pavement Association
  • American Traffic Safety Services Association
  • Association of Equipment Manufacturers
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • National Asphalt Pavement Association