In 49 out of 50 states, households are paying more in vehicle maintenance right now from poor roads than they would be spending if Congress had increased the fuel tax by 25 cents and the money was being used on the infrastructure.
That’s according to a report by the General Contractors Association (GCA) of New York, which used statistics from the nonprofit research group, TRIP. In turn, TRIP used data from the U.S. Census, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, the Congressional Budget Office, the American Association of State Transportation Officials and the Texas Transportation Institute.
The contractors call these repair costs, “the invisible tax of inaction.”
Vehicle operating and repair costs in all 50 states are 226 percent more or on average, $985.37 more per household, than the cost of a 25-cent fuel tax increase would be — $302.63 per household — the report stated.
“When you add it all up, U.S. motorists are forced to spend $120 billion each year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs — an invisible but extremely onerous tax burden in and of itself.”
Using TRIP data, GCA said 44 percent of the nation’s major roads are “in poor or mediocre condition” and 9 percent of its bridges are “structurally deficient,” costing $121 billion annually in wasted time and increased fuel costs.
Plus, they added, these numbers don’t factor in the accidents caused by bad roads and that “roadway features” are a factor in one-third of all traffic fatalities.
By state, bad bridges and roads are costing Rhode Island 570 percent more per household, Connecticut 511 percent more and California 488 percent more, while Georgia is only paying 17 percent more, Tennessee is only paying 51 percent more per household and Indiana is paying 59 percent more.
“The bottom line,” the report said, “is that on average, a 25-cent increase in the gas tax would actually pay a significant dividend — an over 200 percent return — in terms of being far less taxing on households, vehicles and on road-borne commerce.”