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House Committee Approves Extensions on Gasoline Tax

January 6, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The House Ways and Means Committee agreed unanimously Tuesday to extend the 9-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline tax for five years to finance the nation’s highway system.

The legislation also extends the diesel tax of 15 cents a gallon, as well as excise taxes on large trucks, taxes on tires for heavy vehicles and use taxes of up to $550 a year on big over-the-road rigs.

The taxes are due to expire Sept. 30, 1988. The committee approved the five-year extensions last year, but they never became law because of disagreements in other committees over how highway funds should be spent.

Congress’ inability to resolve those disagreements has halted the flow of federal highway funds to the states. Several states are canceling bid lettings on road projects because they have run out of money.

In that regard, Sen. Robert T. Stafford of Vermont, senior Republican on the Senate Public Works Committee, introduced a bill Tuesday that would restore the federal funds under the same formula approved by the Senate last September.

″If legislation is not finalized by March, many of the Northern states’ entire construction season will be jeopardized,″ Stafford said. ″This means that many projects critical to improved transportation services will not go forward. It also means that there will be a significant loss of construction and construction-related jobs.″

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