February 8, 2016

Letters to the Editor
“The Wall Street Journal”
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

To the Editor:

The broadside by Messrs. Schwartz and Stevens of Americans for Prosperity (“Low Gas Prices Have Politicians Pumped to Raise Taxes,” Feb. 6-7) was full of fervency, and completely empty of any understanding of what has actually been happening in the states.

Since 2013, 16 states—both red and blue—have increased taxes on motor fuel to support badly needed highway, bridge and public transit improvements.  At least 8 more are considering similar action in 2016.  In short, it’s not a recent phenomenon attributable to lower gas prices as the authors asserted.

Governors and state legislatures are taking these steps because they actually have to govern and provide solutions to mobility, traffic congestion and safety challenges facing motorists every day that are the result of years of chronic under investment in infrastructure.  New investments in transportation are also critical to helping ensure U.S. economic growth and job creation.

Such efforts might not sit well with “never tax anything under any circumstances” special interest groups like Americans for Prosperity.  But the gas tax works because it is fiscally responsible and the beneficiaries of the transportation system are the users who are paying for it.

Sincerely,

Peter Ruane
President & CEO
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
Washington, D.C.
pruane@artba.org
202.289.4434, ext. 201

Letter to the Editor from ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane, in response to the Feb. 5 op-ed by Dave Schwartz and Justin Stevens (Americans for Prosperity), “Low Gas Prices Have Politicians Pumped to Raise Taxes” (Wall Street Journal).