Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) introduced a bill that would boost annual revenues to the federal Highway Trust Fund by almost $3 billion.
The bill--the Maximum Economic Growth for American through the Highway Trust Fund (MEGA TRUST)--was co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.); Senate Assistant Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); and Senators Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), John Warner (R-Va.) and Jean Carnahan (D-Mo.).
The MEGA TRUST Act would:
*Ensure taxes paid on gasohol are fully credited to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. Today, 2.5 cents of the tax per gallon that is imposed on gasohol is credited to the General Fund of the Treasury, not to the Highway Account;
*Ensure that the highway system does not bear the cost of a policy to promote the use of gasohol. The bill would require reimbursement of the Highway Trust Fund for gasohol's 5.3 cents per gallon lower tax rate than gasoline;
*Restore crediting interest to the Highway Trust Fund's unexpended balance; and
*Require the creation of a commission focusing on the future financing of our federal highway and transit programs.