Bipartisan plan would raise federal gas tax rates

By WEEK Producer

June 19, 2014 Updated Jun 19, 2014 at 10:12 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan plan to raise federal gas and diesel taxes for the first time in decades.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are proposing raising the tax rate from 18.4 cents a gallon to 24.4 -- a 12 cent increase.

The money is a proposed solution to Congress' struggle to pay for highway and transit programs.

"With the economy down a few years ago and with more alternative fuel vehicles, we're seeing a decline in gas tax revenue because it's based on the number of gallons purchased,” said Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “We're struggling to be able to meet the demands on our infrastructure with this declining source. It also impacts us with the federal receipts we get but also the state."

The change would be applied in two increments of six cents each and would take effect within two years.