Gas tax

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Department of Transportation has received a $1.49 million federal grant for a pilot study regarding the feasibility of charging drivers a mileage-based user fee to help pay for road projects.

The Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday announced $14.2 million in grants for several states to explore alternative revenue mechanisms to help sustain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

Don Rush

There is a proposal backed by the Delaware Department of Transportation to substitute a mileage tax for the current gas tax to fund road construction and repair.

Delaware along with four other states on the East Coast have suggested that motorist pay a fee based on the distance that they drive.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the proposal is a response to a request by federal transportation authorities to come up with alternative ways to pay for road construction.

The request comes in the wake of stagnant funding form the current gas and diesel tax.

Don Rush

Senator Tom Carper was one of the few who voted against the $305 billion transportation bill calling it “deeply flawed.”

The Delaware Democrat charged that the measure fails to fix the broken Highway Trust Fund which provides money for transportation infrastructure.

The legislation provides funding over the next five years for bridges, highways and mass transit.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Carper said while the bill funds some worthwhile projects…its filled with “a grab bag of budget gimmicks” that will actually increase the federal budget deficit.

Don Rush

Senator Tom Carper says he wants to up the tax on gasoline and diesel and introduced a measure last week that would hike it by 4 cents a year over the next four years.

Then it would be indexed to keep up with inflation after that.

The Delaware Democrat said that it was important for those who use the nation’s highways to pay for the construction and maintenance of the country’s roads, bridges and transit systems.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland tolls are going down, but the gas tax is going up.

Drivers will be paying less to use bridges, tunnels and roads on Wednesday. The $6 cash toll to cross the Bay Bridge will drop to $4.

Many of the other discounts taking effect will require an E-Z Pass. For example, the discount of using the pass will go from 10 percent to 25 percent for the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels. That discount also will apply to the Francis Scott Key Bridge, the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has voted on some of Gov. Larry Hogan's tax relief proposals.

The budget panel approved a scaled-back version of the governor's reduction in the personal property tax. It will be limited to companies with $10,000 or less in taxable personal property. Implementation has been delayed for two years.

While the panel voted against eliminating automatic gas tax increases, it decided to lower a cap for inflationary indexing from 8 percent to 3 percent.

Don Rush

Senator Tom Carper says he wants to increase the federal gas tax as the nation’s Transportation Fund is about to run out of money later this summer.

It’s not a new idea for the Delaware Democrat.

He proposed an increase back in 2010.

Carper wants to raise the gas tax by four cents a year over the next three years.

After that the gas tax increases would be tied to the rate of inflation.

The last time the gas tax was raised was in 1993, when it increased to 18 cents.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers have approved a $421 million capital budget for road and construction projects in the fiscal year starting Tuesday.

The spending package approved unanimously in both chambers early Tuesday is a decrease from the $477 million authorization for fiscal 2014.

The budget includes $155 million for transportation projects and about $200 million in new bond authorizations for school construction and other capital improvements.

rob purvis creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Driving is about to get pricier for Delaware motorists.

State Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt told lawmakers Thursday that the Markell administration plans to raise tolls on Route 1 by a dollar on weekends to raise more revenue for road maintenance.

The current weekend toll of $2 will increase to $3. The weekday toll will remain at $1.

Bhatt also says his agency will increase borrowing by $20 million next year to pay for road maintenance and repairs.

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Senator Tom Carper wants to increase the federal gas tax by 3-to-4 cents a year for up to four years indexing it to inflation.

The Delaware Democrat says that would bring it back to the buying power of the 18.6 cents of 1993.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he says the increase would make sure that the nation’s bridges would be in good shape.

Carper not only chairs the Senate Transportation Committee but is also a member of the finance committee.

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