By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says he opposes increasing the federal motor fuels tax that supports the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).

“The bottom line is that we don’t want to raise taxes on working people right now,” the Senate Minority Leader told the Daily Beast in a Nov. 23 story. “As it stands now that is where we are at. Income distribution is so bad, I would rather pay for infrastructure by taking the money that comes from overseas [repatriation] and putting it into infrastructure.”

His comments follow an Oct. 31 Rasmussen Reports poll found that 54 percent of Americans oppose raising the gas tax to pay for transportation needs. The 33 percent who said they favor such an increase was nearly double the 18 percent support of five years ago.

Without a permanent revenue solution, the HTF is facing a shortfall that would result in a 40 percent cut in federal highway investment beginning in 2021.  The federal gas tax hasn’t been increased since 1993.