The White House is allowing more state and local governments to begin charging tolls on highways, to address the rapidly disappearing federal money available for highway repair. The reversal of the longtime federal ban on tolling is contained in a new $302 billion transportation bill the executive branch is introducing, according to the Washington Post.
Though they are already common in states such as Maryland and New Jersey, tolls are largely absent from most of the other 46,876 highway miles around the country.
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Funds for highway repairs in much of the country were federally funded through gas taxes collected in the Highway Trust Fund. But as cars become more fuel-efficient, tax revenues have dropped and the fund may soon run dry.
The push has its opponents, who say raising the gas tax—which is unchanged since 1993—is a better way if infusing cash into the starved Highway Trust Fund. Some evidence also suggests some areas are far more dependent on federal money than others, and would suffer more if the burden of financing transportation costs fell solely onto the shoulders of state and local governments.