NC State Economist Mike Walden – “Funding Highways”



Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at funding highways.  Mike, it has been stated the federal highway fund is in danger of running out of money.  What’s happening?  It seems I’m still paying gas taxes when I fill up at the pump?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. We are still paying federal gas taxes, but they’re not keeping up with highway needs for two reasons
  2. Gas tax rate (cents per gallon) hasn’t changed in two decades – but costs have continued to rise – would be like your pay not going up for 20 years
  3. People are driving less
  4. Cars are more fuel efficient – meaning more gallons per mile driven
  5. No popular solution
  6. Raise gas tax, change to a tax per mile, or other options
  7. Looks like other options may be the course taken
  8. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.