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A Higher Gas Tax Won’t Fix America’s Highways

With greater fuel efficiency and electric cars, another source of revenue is needed.

Illustration: Aaron Fernandez for Bloomberg Businessweek


President Trump’s plan to spend at least $200 billion to spur investment in U.S. public works has set off a bitter battle over raising the federal gas tax—and highlighted fundamental problems with the way the U.S. pays for roads and bridges.

On Feb. 12, Trump released his infrastructure plan, which would use federal dollars mostly as incentives to encourage states, localities, and the private sector to spend at least $1.5 trillion on infrastructure improvements. In a meeting with lawmakers two days later, he supported the idea of raising the gas tax to help fund his proposal.