Thank You, Congress

fallonby James A. Bacon

With apologies to Jimmy Fallon:

Thank you, Congress…. for your inability to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act. Your legislative ineptitude not only spared Virginians from paying an estimated $250 million a year in online sales taxes, but it triggered a provision in Virginia law replacing the anticipated set-aside of $168 million of that sum with a 5.1% wholesale gasoline sales tax — actually requiring people who drive cars to pay a portion of the cost of building and maintaining roads.

The Rube Goldberg taxation scheme was enacted by the 2013 General Assembly as part of the McDonnell administration’s transportation tax deform program to raise an estimated $880 million for new road and mass transit projects. The law scrapped the retail gas tax, jacked up the retail sales tax, hiked fees on motor vehicle sales and titling and tapped the expected revenue geyser from the sales tax on online sales. Virginia’s lawmakers were astute enough to anticipate the possibility that a gridlocked Congress might not get around to passing the online sales tax, however, and approved a backup, the higher wholesale gasoline tax, as a replacement.

Virginia’s 2013 tax deform was an abomination because it obliterated the user-pays principle for transportation funding, in which the people who use roads and rail are the ones who pay for it. Legislators embraced the essentially socialist principle that everyone should help pay for transportation infrastructure, regardless of how much they use it, or indeed whether they use it at all.  Telecommuters, bicycle riders, pedestrians and little old ladies who drive 3,000 miles a year contribute as much through their sales taxes as road warriors driving 20,000 miles a year and rail riders who pay nothing toward the cost of building their projects.

By jacking up the wholesale price of gasoline, the commonwealth will partially, though incompletely, restore the user pays principle, at least for road users. The system for financing transportation improvements in Virginia remains hopelessly broken, but it’s a little less hopelessly broken than it otherwise would have been.

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31 responses to “Thank You, Congress

  1. with all due respect – I do not think the fuel tax as currently implemented has any semblance of user-pays – certainly from the perspective of the people paying.. it’s become so thoroughly cloaked that it’s essentially no longer on anyone’s radar. The average person cannot begin to tell you how much tax they pay on a gallon of fuel or a fill-up, per year, etc and the big problem with this is that everyone thinks they pay too much already – whatever the number (they don’t know) is.

    So I challenge anyone reading here to tell me how much they pay in fuel taxes ….under the wholesale tax scheme now in place.

    and the whole idea of the MarketPlace Fairness act is an example of the hypocrisy of the GOP both national and state.

    1. first – it’s a tax increase – something the GOP has repeatedly said they oppose – so why are they still debating this is they have a majority in Congress.

    2. -second – the idea behind it – at least in the commercials is that it “hurts” local businesses… who are less competitive because they have to add 5% to the purchase price (forgetting that the other side is that online companies have to pay shipping).

    3. – who it REALLY hurts is local govt which depends on sales taxes to fund services provided.

    4. – finally – the GOP in Virginia apparently think that essentially stealing those tax dollars from the localities to pay for transportation and leaving the localities to fend for themselves is a “Conservative” ethic.

    and I love the way that Jim B so freely uses the “progressive/leftist” label on the left when they do bad stuff – but he has no such labels for the right – and do not mistake this – this is a totally “right” issue and it really does demonstrate how the right “governs”. All this talk about low taxes and small government and keeping big govt from running amok – is just “rich”.

    So Bacon says “broken system” but he never says who broke it…

    well.. we know one group that is not responsible – those nasty feminists…

    😉

  2. I never say who broke the system? How about this: “The Rube Goldberg taxation scheme was enacted by the 2013 General Assembly as part of the McDonnell administration’s transportation tax deform program.”

    Read the post, Larry, read the post.

    Perhaps you’d like me to blame the legislation entirely upon the GOP. But, then, a whole lot of Democrats, including our current Governor, supported it.

    • yes Jim -but the Dems are “leftists” for supporting it and I’m asking you what label you affix to those on right not only for supporting it but violating their self-avowed principles also?

      Surely you must have label for the right equivalent to “progressive” or “leftist” to describe their faux pas… right?

      so what do you call folks on the right that screw up?

      and did they screw up in concert like a cabal on the left cooking up taxing schemes like ObamaCare?

      I think you have a whale of a double standard Jim…

      I thought you were an equal opportunity guy…

      so tell me what pejorative label you have for the right? wacko birds?

      😉

    • Re: “I do not think the fuel tax as currently implemented has any semblance of user-pays – certainly from the perspective of the people paying.” Yes, it’s true that the amount per gallon is hidden, and that is certainly not the way to deliver a transparent price signal. But the wholesale fuel tax nonetheless is levied per gallon and shows up as a constant component of the retail price per gallon whenever you go to the pump, so that makes it a “user-pays” tax does it not?

      • re: ” so that makes it a “user-pays” tax does it not?”

        it DOES on a technical basis – yes.. I’ll concede that….

        but the principle point of “user pays” is that the user KNOWs he is paying and he knows how much so he has some idea of how much he is paying for roads.

        for instance a toll is also user pays – and the user knows full well they are paying and how much – and can make a value judgement of the worth of him paying.

        • I think I might have made a hash of my answer on user pays.

          For instance, if the “users’ pays .5% sales tax when he buys a shirt or pays his insurance premium does he realize he is paying for roads?

          so the question – that acbar raised – as long as the tax goes to pay for transportation – and the user pays it – does it really need to have any proximity to roads or knowledge of the payer that he is paying a tax that pays for roads?

          Jim thinks this is very important…. and I guess I do too but Adbars question perhaps deserves a better answer than I’m capable of… right this moment.

  3. Have to agree with this one by Jim.

  4. Interesting…I was just looking up VA fuel taxes at dmv.virginia.gov/commercial/#taxact/tax_rates.html
    and I did not realize the GA apparently (and thankfully) put a lower floor on the gaso tax at 11.1 cents (16.2 cents going forward). This compares to 17.5 cents before the Transportation funding bill was enacted.

    NoVA has additonal 2% on wholesale, I don’t know if the NoVA add-on tax has a floor…if not those tax revenues are presumably down due to the recent precipitous drop in wholesale prices.

    Before the recent tax law changes, NoVA was a parity with MD and DC at about 24 cents/gal (including the NoVA add-on 2%).

    Now VA has lowered gaso taxes, and MD and DC have increased gaso taxes quite steeply. Also PA has increased gaso taxes quite steeply. I feel the higher gaso taxes in the nearby states may be forcing higher gaso prices at the pump in NoVA, as distributors attempt to prevent motorists from flocking to VA for cheaper gaso. If my theory is valid, the recent 5 cent tax increase may not be seen in the pump price in NoVA, whereas distributors try to hold status quo pricing deltas between the states.

    Going forward I would like to see the GA give NoVA more flexibility to increase gaso taxes. Basically I feel we need to match MD/DC gaso taxes because we just end up paying the same price at the pump anyways.

    The way I look at it, by policy the state is unfair to NoVA, forcing NoVA to more than it’s fair share of overall state taxes. So at least give NoVA the freedom to charge more gaso tax, which I feel the higher tax in that commodity may not actually be seen at the pump.

    • Or the General Assembly could prohibit zone-based pricing for gasoline unless the price difference is cost-justified. Dick Saslaw once told me that his wholesale distributor sets the wholesale price for local gas stations based on in index set by an organization in New York (Wall Street anyone) in connection with a formula that tries to optimize prices based on non-cost variables. Why isn’t this price fixing that violates the antitrust laws? Herring should also file an antitrust suit against the wholesalers and put the treble damages into transportation.

      • Dick Saslaw would of course be the expert, but my understanding is each gaso supplier has proprietary internal price and supply distribution optimization formulas. Bottom line is that the state gaso tax increases/decreases may not necessarily be directly passed through to the consumer. We’d have to conduct some kind of study with GasBuddy.com historical prices to see the trends (costs money to get the data). I already asked GasBuddy.com to consider adding NoVA to their VA price regions for historical plots (they already have Roanoke, Richmond, VA Beach) but no progress on that request so far.

  5. The idea that an e-tailer should have to collect the purchaser’s home location’s sales tax is absurd. First, the Supreme Court has said a business must have minimum contacts with a state before the state can require it to collect sales taxes. And engaging in interstate commerce is not a sufficient contact.

    Second, it would be incredibly burdensome for even a mid-sized business to be required to understand, and comply, with the myriad of state and local sales tax laws.

    Assuming arguendo Congress had the power to address the minimum contacts issue, it should prohibit a state from requiring a business to collect sales tax from the purchaser, but require it to collect the sales tax imposed by the selling state, if any. To pick on Larry, if he purchases a product over the Internet from a retailer in Missouri, the retailer collects the Missouri sales tax. Only if the retailer is based in Virginia, would it collect the Virginia sales tax from Larry. The retailer can be expected to know the sales tax laws of its place of domicile, and a corporation should only have one place of domicile. The unfairness to bricks and mortar businesses is tempered, and states may think about how they can be friendlier to attract more e-tail businesses.

  6. I completely agree with Larry that the user should know what he’s paying in taxes – the point is simply, a tax that increases in proportion to use (of gas) is effectively a tax on use, even tho not a very transparent one. Personally I’d much rather see the gas tax levied at retail and raised steeply from current levels to something like our northern neighbors’ tax rates. But then I agree with Jim regarding sprawl and crawl; if the outer burbs want better roads to commute on, let them pay a fair share to build and maintain them; and I’ll stay in my house inside the beltway and watch the traffic on television. My children have already chosen the urban lifestyle.

    However, there’s wishful thinking and then there is the politics of the situation. A user tax on gasoline at the wholesale level is better than none at all. Hear, hear to TBill, for saying “The way I look at it, by policy the state is unfair to NoVA, forcing NoVA to more than it’s fair share of overall state taxes. So at least give NoVA the freedom to charge more gaso tax.” Very interesting observation that the price at the pump might be the same anyway.

    • Happy New Year!

      Both Hampton and NoVa got the authority to charge a regional gas tax on top of the state tax if I recall – and they keep it all.

      But I am confused with what TBILL posted in terms of tax per gallon as I was under the impression that the state moved to a percent tax at the wholesale level of 3.5% that now will go to 5.1% since the internet tax failed.

      • …from reading the DMV fuel tax page, it would appear the GA set the VA gasoline tax at 5.1% of wholesale but with a bottom floor not to go below 16.2 cents (as of 1-Jan-2015).

        • I’m confused. I’m looking at the link:

          http://dmv.virginia.gov/commercial/#taxact/tax_rates.html

          and not seeing that discussion.

          but more than that – how are we going to have two different kinds of tax structures – that we toggle back and forth between depending – not on the price of fuel – which would be bad enough but on how much tax is being generated?

          how in the world will the fuel distributors know which tax method to apply to each delivery and when to switch back to the other method.

          I was under the impression that the 5.1% was the rate -come hell or high water.. and we had left the per gallon levy behind…

          or… are they talking about some kind of equivalence between the percent and the effective per gallon yield rate?

          see – this is why I am not an admirer of those who claim they should be the governing majority.. the one’s who talk about small and simple and transparent government – and then they create something like this – that, I guarantee you, not one Virginian in 1000 will be able to tell you how it works.

          this is not governance that anyone should be citing as proof of their prowess at governing…

          • Here is the text about an apparent floor
            “…* For the evaluation period that ended November 30, 2014, the average wholesale price for both gasoline and diesel remained below the Feb 20th, 2013 floor price…”

            This seems to imply the wholesale price for VA tax calcs cannot go below what is was when the Transportation Bill was adopted. Let’s face it, current wholesale price is getting down to $1.50/gal or less, so 5% tax of wholesale would only be 7-cents a gallon, which we apparently are not going to see. As far as how distributors know how much to tax in the face of daily gaso price variations, I believe every 6-months DMV sets the numbers in stone for the next 6 months.

          • @Tbill – they reference the Va Code and I went and read it and to be honest – I do not get out of the Va Code what they are saying on the DMV page especially about the “floor”.

            Congress was “upset” because retailers were showing the tax?

            that’s RICH!

            but over and over in BR , there is discussion of gasoline taxes being “user fees” that pay for transportation -a kind of symbiotic relationship where there is transparency so the folks using the highways can see how they are getting paid for.

            but in recent times – most folks have no idea and many, in fact, believe that they are paying too much in fuel taxes and it’s getting wasted and/or diverted to general fund spending.

            They also tend to think that VDOT shifts money away from their jurisdiction to others or hoard it in a vault in Richmond.

            point is – people don’t know and the same legislator that blathers on about doing the people’s business and transparency and honest in government is … well.. mostly blathering because what they have done with the gas tax is made it even more inscrutable.

            and one more irony – they got tagged with voting for “the biggest tax increase in Va history” by indexing the gas tax to let it increase automatically when the price when up instead of being locked in to the 17.5 cents no matter the market price of fuel.

            and, in the price of gasoline had continued up – they might have deserved the claim of a big tax increase … especially if fuel had gone to 4.00 a gallon – the tax would have been about 20 cents per gallon.

            but the price went the other way and now at two dollars a gallon – at 5.1%, te are getting about a dime.. instead of the 17.5 cents and it’s harmed transportation funding so much that they’ve had to cut about a billion dollars in projects.

            so when is the “floor” supposed to kick in?

            I still don’t understand how the wholesalers are going to know when, where and how to change that tax – on the fly .. how will they know when to institute the “floor” price -and when not to?

  7. TMT – in terms of the sales tax on online purchases, I think I can tell you do not buy online!

    I do and many websites now add the Virginia tax – voluntarily.

    which I find additionally interesting because I assume they are sending it to Virginia and I wonder what Virginia is spending it on….. or whether it just goes into the general fund.

    I can see why conservatives are split on the tax – but I suspect most Dems might want the tax – because the sales tax primarily funds education at the State and Local levels in Virginia and if the sales tax revenues decrease then it will cut into education funding – or more likely force more competition for monies that might fund transportation.

    that’s what is so odd about what the GA did with the internet tax if it ever gets passed. The general sales tax of 5-6% all of it but 1/2% goes to things other than transportation – if not mistaken.

    now the 1/2% is supposed to increase by a tenth or so every year until it hits 1% … which .. is NOT chump change.. as the 1/2% right now currently generates MORE than the fuel tax does – almost a billion dollars!

    • Take a look at Illinois. It has a very complicated myriad of state and local sales taxes. I once researched the issue for a client – a cell phone carrier – based in another state. After reading my analysis, the company decided not to serve customers in Illinois.

      A retailer in an Illinois city knows the right taxes and can collect them. But a company in California, Virginia or Mississippi cannot be expected to get the Illinois (and 48 other states) sales tax correct. It’s unreasonable. My solution is better. Congress could (subject to addressing the constitutional issue) allow the seller to collect the sales tax where it operates.

      And I think you are correct. Over time, the sales tax for transportation plan will produce a lot more money for transportation than the gas tax especially as fuel changes occur. But we still have the problem of using tax dollars for developer welfare. That’s why it is critical to prevent politicians from evading the statutory requirement to fund projects based on its reduction in traffic congestion.

      • re: ” But a company in California, Virginia or Mississippi cannot be expected to get the Illinois (and 48 other states) sales tax correct.”

        but TMT – it’s a simple table like this one:

        http://taxfoundation.org/article/state-and-local-sales-tax-rates-2014

        • Larry, you are wrong on this one. Many localities and special districts levy different sales taxes in some states. And what it taxable and what is not regularly differs from state to state. If Congress were to allow sales taxes based on the residence of the purchaser, at a minimum, it would need to preempt the states on what is subject to tax and prohibit any local taxes. As I said, I researched Illinois law for a client. It was a nightmare of complexity. Here is the Illinois sales tax calculator page. https://www.revenue.state.il.us/app/trii/ Click in two pages and see the State’s disclaimer. “The information listed here is for informational purposes only and is not binding on the Department, may not be relied upon by taxpayers in taking positions with reference to tax issues, and creates no rights for taxpayers under the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Act. This application does not replace statutes, rules, or court decisions.” In other words, the e-tailer in Idaho who sells to customers in Illinois cannot even rely on that state’s department of revenue calculations. This is an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce forbidden to the states.

          And I’m sure the Land of Lincoln is not alone. Only the largest businesses could afford to have a tax department to handle this. For businesses to handle this, there must be a single definition of what is taxable and what is not, and a single rate for a state. Congress would necessarily need to preempt Virginia’s transportation tax deal.

          If states want a national solution, they need to surrender a lot of tax authority. My proffered solution continues to be much better approach.

          • TMT – each state has a defined sales tax. It’s a simple computer script to read the State then go find the tax for that state and apply it.

            and a good number of online retailers -ALREADY do this – right now.

            here’s on online calculator:

            http://www.taxrates.com/calculator/

            this does not look hard..

          • TooManyTaxes

            Larry, think of the burden on an online retailer that sells around the nation. For every sale, an employee would need to check the address for the proper tax rate and application. What about PO Boxes? Then there are only five states in the U.S. without a sales tax and Alaska allow for local taxes at rates between 1-7%. This makes processing orders more expensive. It could be a substantial burden.

            And then is the requirement to prepare and file tax returns and remit the proceeds to the proper entity. This is an undue burden on instate commerce. It reminds me of the old truck mud flaps case. As I recall, Arizona required a special type of mud flap on certain trucks that was generally not used on other states. Arizona felt it was fine for the driver to stop at the state border and change mud flaps. The U.S. Supreme Court found Arizona’s law to be unconstitutional as an undue burden on interstate commerce.

          • ” Larry, think of the burden on an online retailer that sells around the nation. For every sale, an employee would need to check the address for the proper tax rate and application. What about PO Boxes? Then there are only five states in the U.S. without a sales tax and Alaska allow for local taxes at rates between 1-7%. This makes processing orders more expensive. It could be a substantial burden.”

            you tickle me TMT.. it’s all done by computer… once the address is put in –

            it’s automatic according to zip code.. which even get places with local taxes.

            “And then is the requirement to prepare and file tax returns and remit the proceeds to the proper entity. This is an undue burden on instate commerce.”

            again – it’s all electronic … funds move electronically

            don’t you get your checks direct deposit?

            “It reminds me of the old truck mud flaps case. As I recall, Arizona required a special type of mud flap on certain trucks that was generally not used on other states. Arizona felt it was fine for the driver to stop at the state border and change mud flaps. The U.S. Supreme Court found Arizona’s law to be unconstitutional as an undue burden on interstate ”
            commerce.”

            what about California emission standards ? How about dark tinted windows legal in some southern states – not legal in other states?

            I’m not arguing the right or wrong of an internet sales tax but I’m point out two things:

            1. – it’s all done by computer once the address is entered… so it’s not a burden ..

            2. – localities typically rely on sales taxes to pay for services and if that’s no longer going to be the case – then people in those localities will have to decide if they want to pay higher taxes or have less services…

            cutting taxes is a popular idea but if anyone assumes that cutting taxes will not affect services – they’re in a dream world and cutting taxes won’t necessarily reduce waste – anyhow – it’s wishful thinking.

          • Larry, there can be differences a sales tax rate within a single zip code. And are really arguing that a small business must buy access to a computer system to sell across state lines? Think about the ACA case. The Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional to force a person to buy insurance. The ACA was affirmed as a lawful tax only.

            California’s emission laws only apply to cars sold in the state. California cannot make you buy a new car when you move to the state because your old one doesn’t meet emissions. If you drive into California from another state, your car doesn’t need to need to meet California standards. You are comparing apples and oranges from a constitutional perspective.

            The exact same thing applies to tinted windows. They cannot make you untint them if you drive through the state.

            The simple solution is to have the online retailer collect and remit the local sales tax, irrespective of where the buyer lives. And for Congress to strip the power of states to collect a use tax on goods that have been taxed in another state. States with business friendly laws will attract more e-tailers and bring in more money than states that are not as business friendly. This is a case where the states need to accept a partially full glass.

          • ” Larry, there can be differences a sales tax rate within a single zip code. ”

            they’re only doing state sales taxes as far as I know, though.

            “And are really arguing that a small business must buy access to a computer system to sell across state lines? ”

            most small businesses have computers TMT – the ones that don’t probably would fly under the radar … anyhow.

            “Think about the ACA case. The Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional to force a person to buy insurance. The ACA was affirmed as a lawful tax only.”

            oh what blather… you have to buy auto insurance, right? and if you get a mortgage – you have to get fire insurance… this is just more anti-ACA stuff – in the middle of a discussion about internet sales tax.

            “California’s emission laws only apply to cars sold in the state. California cannot make you buy a new car when you move to the state because your old one doesn’t meet emissions.”

            it’s a state law that you were saying the Feds won’t allow..though and yes – California can force any care in their state to meet their emissions laws and if you bring a car in – it has to be converted or it fails .. just as if you brought a foreign car into NoVa and it failed the Va emissions law.

            ” If you drive into California from another state, your car doesn’t need to need to meet California standards. You are comparing apples and oranges from a constitutional perspective.”

            if the car stays in California – it has to meet their emissions …

            “The exact same thing applies to tinted windows. They cannot make you untint them if you drive through the state.”

            we’re not talking about driving through a state – we’re talking about a car being licensed or licensed to conduct business in a state … right?

            “The simple solution is to have the online retailer collect and remit the local sales tax, irrespective of where the buyer lives. And for Congress to strip the power of states to collect a use tax on goods that have been taxed in another state. States with business friendly laws will attract more e-tailers and bring in more money than states that are not as business friendly. This is a case where the states need to accept a partially full glass.”

            well… it is what it is – and from a practical perspective – it appears that the states don’t actually have to take the tax. They can choose to not take the money just like with MedicAid – right – just let the Feds keep it…

  8. re: Fed law on showing taxes.. hmmppph….

    I would think if each state can determine its’ tax policies -it also could determine it’s policies for showing the tax.

    I’m skeptical to be honest.

    when you buy stuff in stores you get a proper accounting of taxes paid. When you get a phone or cable bill… or buy a new car… or buy online – you get an accounting of the taxes paid….

    so it’s ONLY for gasoline – ??? and what’s the reason -that would not also apply to other purchases…?????

    • Larry I believe 60-70 years ago the public was upset at the oil companies for “false advertising” gaso prices by showing the before tax price in big numerals, but using small print on the added sales taxes. So at that time Congress decided to ban the showing of fuel taxes on gaso purchase receipts. But I feel that rationale is out-dated today. Show me the taxes please!

  9. I was re-reading Jim’s nice article but found it confusing at the end. The last paragraph Jim says: … “By jacking up the wholesale price of gasoline, the commonwealth will partially, though incompletely, restore the user pays principle”…I think Jim had meant to say: by jacking up the TAX RATE on the wholesale price of gasoline…but it would now appear from the comments, that in VA, we’ve not only jacked up TAX RATE on the wholesale price of gaso, we have indeed additionally jacked up the wholesale price of gasoline (for the purposes of the tax calcs). But at 16.2 cents/gal VA is still among the lowest gaso tax states, compared to say PA now up over 50 cents/gal. PA apparently feels validated that increasing gasoline taxes was a smart move (with the recent huge drop in gaso prices). Sounds like we may soon hear a federal move in the same upwards fuel tax direction.

    • TBill, you’re right, that was careless wording on my part. You’re quite right: I meant to say that the state had increased the *tax* on wholesale gasoline.

    • I was shocked – SHOCKED – to be listening to FOX News Sunday interviewing two GOP Congressmen stalwarts who answer the “do you support an increase in the gas tax?” question by saying that “it’s on the table” – and not a paltry one – 12 cents – over two years!

      this is from the party that has used the gas tax issue to beat Dems as “tax & Spenders”…

      and what’s REALLY interesting is that Obama seems to be OPPOSED to increasing the gas tax!

      how’s THAT for tipsy turvy?

      transcript:

      With gas prices now under $2.50 a gallon, would you favor increasing the gas tax?

      SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: Well, I don’t favor increasing any tax, Chris, but I think we have to look at all the option. We obviously have a big delta (ph) we have to meet. The highway bill expires at the end of May and there’s about a hundred billion shortfall of what it would take to fund the highway trust fund at the current level of operation.

      So, obviously, we’ve got to deal with it here. And I think there’s a number of ways you could deal with that, and those discussions continue. I think we’ll get to a resolution on that, but it is important we fund infrastructure, and we deal with that, as well as planes, trains and automobiles, all those issues.

      WALLACE: Let me just interrupt because we’re running out of the time here.

      Now, Senator Corker and others have suggested a 12 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax over the next two years. You certainly sound like you’re not ruling that out?

      THUNE: Well, Bob Corker has got a proposal out there. There are others who have suggestions as well. We appreciate the fact that we’ve got solutions that are being future forward.

      I don’t think we take anything off the table at this point. I think it’s important to recognize that we have a problem, an issue that we need a solution for, and we need to look at all the possible ways out there in which we can address the challenge and address the problem. But that’s one proposal that’s out there and Bob Corkers has been, you know, taken a strong stand on that issue.

      WALLACE: Final question for you —

      CORKER: Chris, if I could, that was — Chris, if I could —

      WALLACE: Sure.

      CORKER: I just want to point out yes, we have proposed raising the gasoline tax — user fee by 12 cents, but also by off-setting other taxes that Americans would pay. So, it’s revenue neutral, but at least it would put our infrastructure on strong footing. And that second component seems to get left out of the conversation most of the time. But, yes, I believe that’s what we should do.

      WALLACE: Well, thank you for that clarification.

      http://goo.gl/SO6TVt

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