Who Will Pay for the Roads?
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in November, shifts federal highway policy further away from the free market model of “user pays, user benefits” by requiring taxpayers to cough up more money for socialized roads.
The infrastructure law, supported by legislators of both major parties, allocates about $54 billion a year to federally subsidized highways, which account for a quarter of all public roads in the U.S. That’s an increase from the roughly $45 billion included in the last highway bill. All told, the law authorizes $110 billion in new spending on roads and bridges.
Where will all that money come from? Not from road users, at least not directly.
Biden’s (unevenly honored) commitment to not raising taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year ruled out an increase in the federal gasoline tax. His administration also quickly nixed tolls and mile
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