TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CALLS FOR REPEAL OF CLINTON GAS TAX | Citizens Against Government Waste

TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP CALLS FOR REPEAL OF CLINTON GAS TAX

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact:  Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
March 22, 2000(202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) -- The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) this week called on Congress to repeal the 4.3 cent per gallon gasoline tax imposed in the Clinton budget agreement of 1993.  CCAGW believes that revenue lost through this tax cut could easily be offset by eliminating highway demonstration projects included in 1998's Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the most recent federal highway authorization bill.

“Truckers are blocking the streets of our nation’s capital today to protest the high cost of gas.  Unfortunately, greedy government spenders will continue blocking the only sensible relief — the repeal of a tax whose time has passed,” said CCAGW President Thomas Schatz.

Schatz noted that the most recent 4.3 cent addition to the gas tax was enacted to reduce the federal deficit — a goal long since accomplished.  “The only reason this tax is still in place is to pay for local highway demonstration projects.”

Citizens Against Government Waste found more than $9 billion worth of highway demonstration earmarks in TEA-21.  The 4.3 cent gas tax raises $7.2 billion every year.  “The math is pretty simple,” said Schatz.  “Cut $9 billion in highway pork, cut $7.2 billion in gas taxes, and figure out what to do with the leftover $1.8 billion.  I'd suggest cutting gas taxes even more, but that might be too much to ask from our asphalt-addicted lawmakers.”

Among the worst examples of parochial projects funded through highway demonstration projects:  $8.5 million for a pedestrian walkway from Union Station in the District of Columbia to Silver Spring, Maryland; $3 million for a parking garage in Peoria, Illinois; $3.3 million for a highway beautification project in Daytona Beach, Florida; and $2.6 million to rehabilitate a historic train depot in San Bernadino, California.

“The only thing that these demonstration projects demonstrate is that Congress is more interested in passing out the pavement pork than providing relief for ripped-off road warriors,” Schatz concluded.  “Washington should demonstrate some leadership and repeal this tax.”

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

 

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