TN Senator Corker proposes gas tax increase to boost Highway Tru - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

TN Senator Corker proposes gas tax increase to boost Highway Trust Fund

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That's part of the thought behind a proposal from Tennessee Senator Bob Corker that is getting national attention Thursday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file) That's part of the thought behind a proposal from Tennessee Senator Bob Corker that is getting national attention Thursday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Would you pay more for gas if it meant you'd be driving on better roads?

That's part of the thought behind a proposal from Tennessee Senator Bob Corker that is getting national attention Thursday.

When asked, some would say with the national average for regular unleaded gas sitting at $3.67 a gallon, consumers are already spending too much on gas.

Others might say they don't mind paying a little more if it means better roads. Those are the people you could see supporting a bi-partisan plan to increase the gas tax, which would mean paying more at the pump to shore up the Highway Trust Fund, the transportation funding source.

Corker's proposal would mean 6 cents the first year and another 6 cents the second year for a total of 12 cents extra per gallon.

The last time the gas tax was increased was in 1993, and now the proposal's backers, republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, say it needs to be done again. If not, they say there won't be money to pay for transportation projects such as roads, bridges, and transit systems.

Senator Murphy is calling this a "transportation crisis."

Senator Corker said, "if Americans feel that having modern roads and bridges is important, then Congress should have the courage to pay for it."

He says the process shouldn't be done by just transferring money from the general fund. Senators say the government has been doing that to a total of $50 billion dollars, raising the deficit.

People can expect to hear plenty of opposition, including complicated financing that most Americans don't have time to get their heads around, and a subject that easily gets voters upset.

Also, part of the senators' proposal is offering forms of tax relief.

Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush all raised the gas tax in order to fund the Highway Trust Fund.

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