One of the only disadvantages of owning a pickup truck or Jeep is that, on average, these vehicles don't have fuel efficiency that is as good as smaller automobiles. While the numerous benefits typically outweigh that hiccup in the mind's of owners, and large vehicles are seeing efficiency improve, it can still be aggravating to have to make frequent trips to the gas station. Unfortunately, those visits may soon have to become more costly, as there could be an increase in the average fuel price beginning in 2014.
According to The Washington Post, Congress is planning on handling a drop in transportation funding by raising the federal gas tax. A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Dec. 4, and it aimed to raise the tax by 15 cents per gallon. That price hike would help make up for the budget cuts, but it may leave come drivers reconsidering their road trips or off-roading adventures.
The increase would bring the total amount of federal tax up to 33.4 cents per gallon on gas and 42.8 cents per gallon for diesel fuel, the news source reported. Officials believe the jump is necessary, as the improving rates of efficiency mean drivers are making fewer stops at a gas station. That has left a hole in the budget that could be used to improve roads and similar infrastructure.
"Congress hasn't dealt seriously with the funding issue for 20 years," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) told The Washington Post. "With inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit. The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993."
It remains to be seen if the tax hike will be approved, but the idea is something drivers will want to keep an eye on regardless.