branch of the National Research Council has begun a study of whether
fuel taxes are the best way to pay for the nation's highways,
the Fairbanks, AK-based News-Miner reported.
Transportation Research Board study comes as Rep. Don Young, R-AK,
chairman of the U.S. House Transportation Committee, is pushing
to raise more money for highway work nationwide.
cites polls that indicate the public backs increased gasoline
taxes, as long as the money goes to highway work. He advocates,
at a minimum, linking the gasoline tax to the inflation rate,
to protect against erosion of its buying power.
federal gasoline tax is 18.3 cents per gallon. Alaska's is 8 cents
per gallon, the lowest in the nation. The average for states is
22.6 cents per gallon.
Morris, senior program officer at the Transportation Research
Board, said the study was prompted by interest from his organization,
the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Cooperative
Highway Research Program, which is funded by states.
14-member volunteer panel held its first meeting Monday in Washington,
DC, to ponder whether fuel taxes ought to be the primary method
of paying for road work.