As states and cities face infrastructure budget crunches with gas tax revenues down, some are thinking about alternative ways to secure funding.
Smart Cities Dive Jason Plautz October 26, 2020 After months of travel and work restrictions to support public health amid COVID-19, drivers may find their roads in less-than-ideal condition when they're able to get back behind the wheel. The sharp dips in driving that accompanied early stages of lockdowns meant less gas tax revenue for state and local governments, exposing what many transportation agencies and lawmakers have feared for years: the gas tax is no longer adequate for America’s infrastructure funding. Budgetary problems existed long before the pandemic, but new driving trends may accelerate conversations on what innovative approaches can replace it. "It remains our message that the current model is not sustainable in the long term. The pandemic has just exacerbated those points,” said Susan Howard, program director for highway finance at the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). "We all believe in a user-pay principle where the amount you drive determines what you’re paying … but this has certainly highlighted some of the weaknesses with that approach."
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