Soaring gasoline prices are the result of price increases for crude oil, not federal and state gas taxes, which must be raised to help pay for transportation infrastructure improvements, the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy said in a recently released paper.

“Enacting increases in federal and state gas taxes — whose purchasing power has been decimated by construction cost growth and the switch to more fuel-efficient cars —  would bring with it significant benefits in the form of funding for a safe and more efficient transportation system,” said the nonprofit, nonpartisan research group whose board consists of academics and analysts. “At a time when American drivers waste over five billion hours and nearly three billion gallons of burnt fuel stuck in traffic each year, the need for such investments could not be more clear.”

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