Ed Wallace: Texas Should Raise Its Gas Tax

Our fair state faces a huge impending budget shortfall. On top of that, TxDot will soon be out of money. But we’re still growing. So the question is, how to build the roads and rail needed to keep from strangling ourselves?

Dallas Republican state senator John Carona has an idea: raise the gas tax 10¢.  When asked about it, Rick Perry demurred, but said if the Legislature voted it, he’d have to go with it. That left an opening for KBH to attack him (proving once again that even the slightest hint of fiscal responsibility wins no friends in a GOP primary). 

KLIF talk-show host and BusinessWeek columnist Ed Wallace thinks they are all a bunch of pantywaists. On Saturday’s show, he argued strongly that Texas ought to raise gas prices 20¢. With the way gas prices have been fluctuating the last two years, basically nobody would notice. But the hike would bring in $2 billion a year — more than enough to cover the state’s transporation shortfall, not mention CHIPs, education, and the unemployment fund. In his Monday Star-Telegram column (the man is a multi-media machine), Wallace argued that a national gas tax beats the daylights out of cap-and-trade, which will end up as another bonanza for lobbyists and Wall Street.

A guide to state gas taxes is here.


  • Chris

    I agree with Ed, but 50% of that raise should be ONLY allocated to passenger rail projects, high speed, and regional.

  • VisitDallas!HomeOfAmerica’sWorstPresident

    Republican’s entire philosophy is that you can get more for less, leading to something for nothing. Hence the disaster of Republican governance: The Laffer Curve.

    Puh. Leez.

  • VisitWashingtonDC!HomeOfAmerica’sWorstPresident

    I think the concern of lot of people, and not just conservatives, is that a lot of this money will go to TxDOT which by many media accounts, wastes a lot of money. I agree we need to raise more funds for transit improvements (rail, better highways, etc) but politicians both on the right and left will have a hard time agreeing to a gas tax hike until TxDOT gets their act together.

  • Doug

    Anybody who thinks working people don’t notice a twenty cent jump in gas prices is woefully out of touch.

  • I’ve been engaged in taxes for lengthier then I care to acknowledge, both on the individual side (all my employed life!!) and from a legal point of view since satisfying the bar and following up on tax law. I’ve supplied a lot of advice and rectified a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve put up makes impeccable sense. Please continue the good work – the more people know the better they’ll be equipped to deal with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.

  • JenLArt

    Why is there is TX budget shortfall?
    I thought we had quite a large surplus.