Wilson: Stop the Gas Tax Hike

May 21, 2003
Press Release
Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) made the following remarks following a press conference calling on Members of Congress to oppose a proposed increase in the national gas tax, hosted by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO). Also in attendance were Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ), Todd Akin (R-MO), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Cliff Stearns (R-FL). “This idea of increasing the federal gas tax is simply wrong. We don’t need it, and Americans don’t want it,” said Rep. Wilson. “There are real highway needs that should be prioritized, but rather than take more from people’s wallets, we need to stop raiding the highway funds for projects unrelated to roads.” “Also, highway funds are given to states in disproportionate levels, so while everyone pays the same tax, everyone does not get the same attention to their local roads. South Carolinians do not want to spend their hard earned money to pay for roads in other states, while they still sit in traffic on Highway 278.” According to the Federal Highway Administration, the current federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, and state gas taxes average just over 22 cents. Based on this information, American taxpayers are currently paying more than $50 billion annually in taxes on gasoline. This means that the average family’s annual gas tax burden is $660, and every penny increase in the gas tax raises that family’s annual tax bill by $25. If the current proposal to increase the gas tax by 5.4 cents is enacted, families could see their yearly tax burden increase by $135. This would lead to a total gas tax of almost $800 annually. In addition, it has also been proposed to index the gas tax to inflation, which creates an automatic tax increase that these families will be forced to pay each year. “The average American family already pays $660 per year in gas taxes, and this idea would take an additional $135 from them. Many of these families are working on a tight budget and that is money they could be spending on school supplies and clothing for their children. Let’s not tax our struggling economy anymore. I thank Congresswoman Musgrave for leading this brave stand against any gas tax increase,” said Rep. Wilson. ###