Transportation Commission Recommends Raising Gas Tax, Charging By Mile

WASHINGTON — A special commission on transportation created by Congress is suggesting hiking gasoline taxes and charging motorists by the miles to help pay for road projects.

Neither approach appears to have the support of the Obama administration.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has said raising the gas tax during a recession is a bad idea. And when LaHood suggested last week that a mileage tax might merit consideration, the White House responded within hours, saying, “It is not and will not be the policy of the Obama administration.”

But in a report released yesterday, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission says current gas and diesel taxes are not raising enough money to keep pace with the cost of highway, bridge and transit projects.

It proposes a 10 cent increase in the gas tax and 15 cents for diesel and adjusting both for inflation. Otherwise, it says, the nation will face “grim consequences.”