FOX 32 NEWS - The U.S. Highway Trust Fund for road building and maintenance has raided $143 billion from other parts of the government since 2008, the last year revenue from the federal motor fuel tax was enough to cover costs.
Now, President Donald Trump said it's time to consider an increase.
A congressional joint committee on taxation estimated the current tax on gasoline would have to triple from the current 18.4 cents a gallon to about 54 cents a gallon to fund needed construction and repairs over the next decade.
Trump spoke of raising the fuel tax in an interview with Bloomberg News: "It's something that I would certainly consider. The truckers have said that they want me to do something as long as that money is earmarked to highways."
There's been no increase in the federal motor fuel tax since 1993. A local energy expert warned gasoline prices at the pump are already likely to rise this summer during the peak of the driving season.
“You know, we could be talking about $4 a gallon gasoline this summer, if this tax goes through and that's going to be tough for a lot of Chicago drivers,” said Phil Flynn from the PRICE Futures Group.
Former President Barack Obama talked last year of raising the fuel tax by 24 cents a gallon, drawing instant ridicule and rejection from Republicans who controlled Congress.They've been largely silent about President Trump's remarks.