Dallas Morning News 6/2/14 9:04 am By Terry Box

Here’s another side-effect of fuel-economy regulations that Washington probably didn’t adequately anticipate:

As corporate average fuel economy standards for new cars and trucks continue to push gas mileage up — headed in 2016 for 34.5 miles per gallon — funds to improve and repair the highway system keep falling.

Most of the revenue for those funds comes from state and federal gasoline taxes, and with people buying less gas, the funds keep withering.

Politicians, of course, are extremely reluctant to increase the gas tax.

But the U.S. Highway Trust Fund could run out of money by August, and various road funds could lose $57 billion over the next 10 years, according to Autoblog.com.

So some states are pursuing road remedies of their own.San Francisco, for example, has proposed a per-mile charge for all vehicles and Virginia is considering a higher sales tax and a $100 fee for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Last year, Massachusetts raised its state gas tax to 24 cents per gallon, but a repeal of that increase is on the November ballot, Autoblog.com said.

Some voters in California also are fighting a proposed state increase in the fuel tax for 2015, posing a real dilemma for politicians.

People don’t like congestion or taxes. So what do we do?

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