Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- For 80 years the U.S. has relied on
motor-fuel taxes to pay for road repairs, transit systems and
highway construction. This system needs an overhaul because
soaring fuel efficiency and a poor economy jeopardize the
current tax’s fundraising power.
The federal government reaped $31.7 billion from fuel taxes
in 2009, the lowest total in five years. States collected $37.9
billion in 2008, about the same amount as the year before. More
recent data isn’t in yet, but further declines are inevitable.
In July, carmakers and U.S. authorities agreed to raise fuel-efficiency standards 80 percent by 2025. As better mileage
becomes commonplace, motorists won’t need to buy as much
gasoline or diesel.