ATA assesses proposed
Feb 26, 2009 9:36 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has commended the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission for its thorough accounting of funding deficiency challenges facing the nationís surface transportation systems.
ATA agreed with the commissionís recommendation on the need for an adjustment in the federal fuel tax, provided that more of those revenues are focused on programs to improve goods movement, and that all highway users must contribute equitably for their use.
Noting that the commission has proposed replacing the fuel tax as the primary means of financing highway improvements with a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax, ATA said the plan would be expensive to implement and maintain, presents privacy concerns, and would eliminate consumer incentive to use less fuel. The latter is a necessary component in helping to lower the cost of fuel, reduce carbon output, and improve the nationís balance of trade.
"The federal fuel tax has worked well for more than 50 years with the lowest collection and evasion costs," said Bill Graves, ATA president. "There is no reason to transition to a new funding source within the 10-year timeframe suggested by the commission, and certainly not to an alternative with as many problems as a VMT tax."
The fuel tax "is a cost-effective source of highway funding and it should not be abandoned," he said, but should be adjusted to meet current needs.
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