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New Proposal Makes Tolls on Interstate Highways a Possibility

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/1/2014 Karla Sanchez

America's roads need some work, but with the Highway Trust fund about to run out, the Obama administration is thinking of other ways to help fund improvements to the transportation system. One way is for states to start collecting tolls on interstate highways, reports the Washington Post.

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Certain states such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia already utilize toll roads, but the administration proposed to Congress that more states should be given the option to use them. This would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling. However, the revenue that comes from toll roads could help replenish the Highway Trust Fund. Toll Road Turnpike© Provided by MotorTrend Toll Road Turnpike

"The proposal comes at the crucial moment for transportation in the last several years," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "As soon as August, the Highway Trust Fund could run dry. States are already canceling or delaying projects because of uncertainty."

The Highway Trust fund mostly depends on the 18.4-cent federal gas tax, but since that hasn't been increased since 1993, there's been talk of raising the federal gas tax as well. Whatever it is, something clearly needs to be done. Foxx said the highway trust fund would face a $63 billion shortfall over the next four years. highway_interchange© Provided by MotorTrend highway_interchange

This is all part of a four-year, $302 billion White House transportation bill called the Grow America Act, which was put into action by the Obama administration since the current Federal Highway bill is getting ready to expire September 30. As part of this bill, Foxx also proposed to raise the late recall penalty to $300 million and bar rental car companies and dealers from loaning or leasing recalled vehicles that haven't yet been repaired.

What do you think of the proposal? Would you rather pay to use the interstate, or would you rather pay more for the federal gas tax? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Washington Post

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