In a parallel to previous discussion of resistance to state-leve cap-and-trade measures, Kate Galbraith has a roundup of failures to increase gasoline taxes at the state level:
One by one, the state-level proposals to boost the gas tax — which I wrote about in January — are, well, running out of gas.
The latest casualty appears to be Vermont. The Vermont house voted for a gas-tax increase, but a key state senator is opposed — and has removed the measure from the transportation bill in his committee.
Other states with similar results, according to Galbraith: Rhode Island, Florida, Iowa. At a time states might have multiple reasons for doing this – greenhouse carbon tax benefits, plus a need to make up for falling revenue – it’s not happening.
Although the recession makes it harder to sell anything that increases the cost of living, this would be a good time to increase gas taxes. (Now, when gas prices are relatively low.)