Congress has big-ticket items on its plate after the elections, including a deadline to avoid the “fiscal cliff” sequester process, which may lead to a deal for votes on comprehensive tax reform legislation and perhaps a new jobs bill. Big bills like these offer chances to attempt Hail Mary plays for various infrastructure proposals, from a gas tax increase to the National Infrastructure bank.
Tax Reform: Transportation advocates increasingly talk about comprehensive tax reform or a broad fiscal reset deal as the Hail Mary opportunity for a Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue fix. The Bipartisan Policy Center brought together lots of stakeholders a few weeks ago. The discussion was intended to be about what the impact of HTF spending cuts would be without a revenue increase, but it quickly shifted to talks about how to find alternative sources of revenue, with tax reform efforts mentioned again as a place to do it.