Trump: ‘I would certainly consider’ increasing fuel tax

Updated May 5, 2017

In an interview with Bloomberg News Monday, May 1, President Donald Trump said he could consider raising the federal tax on gasoline and diesel to help pay for infrastructure improvements.

President Trump suggests he might be open to an increase in the fuel tax to help pay for infrastructure improvements.President Trump suggests he might be open to an increase in the fuel tax to help pay for infrastructure improvements.

Citing his March 23 meeting at the White House with representatives of the American Trucking Association, member companies and America’s Road Team Captains, Trump told Bloomberg reporters Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev, “I’ve — had the truckers come to see me, that if we earmarked money toward the highways that they would — that they would not mind a tax — you know, gas tax or some form of tax.”

However, Trump made it clear it was not a done deal.

“So I haven’t — I haven’t made a commitment. But they would like it, because they say the roads are in such bad condition,” he said.

The federal Highway Trust Fund is supported by an 18.4 cent per gallon tax on gas an 24.4 cent per gallon on diesel. Neither gets adjusted for inflation and neither has been increased since 1993.

During last year’s campaign and since, Trump has championed the idea of a $1 trillion infrastructure package. But, he has made it clear that that entire amount will not be coming from the federal government.

Trump has repeatedly said he expects a large portion of any infrastructure spending plan will include a goodly amount — if not a majority of the total — to come from private sources.

Also in that Bloomberg interview, Trump showed a flash of possible bipartisanship.

“The Democrats want infrastructure, they want a trillion-dollar bill, and I’m totally open to that. We are in agreement there,” he told his interviewers.