INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING - TIA POSITION PAPER
At the end of 2015, Congress passed a highway bill. But with a lack of funding and a new Presidential administration pushing for infrastructure and job creation, a long-term Federal-Aid Highway Bill is once again being considered. TIA believes this is a jobs bill that cuts across party lines.
But there will be much disagreement on some major issues: (1) motor fuel taxes—state governors are almost united in their support of a major motor fuel tax increase. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the powerful road builders lobby all support a major increase (and indexing the tax to inflation so that it goes up in future years without having to go through Congress). Proposals being considered range from increasing the motor fuel tax by 5 cents to 8 cents a gallon a year for 5 years (raising the tax in total by 25-40 cents a gallon) to increasing the tax to $1.00 per gallon; (2) privatization of highways— allowing states to continue the trend of turning over public roads to private companies. In these lease arrangements, the road is leased to a private company for 99 years. The private company gives the state a great amount of money up front (which is appealing to Governors who are facing severe shortfalls). What seems to then happen is that the roads get less maintenance, and to make this a good business move the private company either increases existing tolls or puts in new tolls. This has become a serious issue to truckers. Not only are they paying excise tax on tires, excise tax on the truck and parts, and a diesel tax (on both the federal and state levels for highway trust funds on both levels), they now have to pay new or additional tolls to ride on these important and popular roads. This becomes yet another financial challenge to the trucking industry; (3) weight-distance tax—the recent congressionally mandated study was positive on the equity of a national-weight distance tax or a vehicle-miles-driven tax. TIA strongly stands with the American Truckers Associations in opposition to a weight-distance act which would eliminate other taxes including the Federal Excise Tax on new truck tires. The elimination of the FET on new truck tires would have a significant negative impact on the retread industry. (4) Tax proposals if a motor fuel tax increase is not possible, including reinstating the FET on tread rubber, reinstating the FET on passenger tires, and increasing the FET on truck tires by 10%.
TIA will take the following positions:
(1) Five-year+ Federal Aid Highway Bill Support
(2) Motor fuel tax increase Oppose
(3) Privatization of highways Oppose
(4) Weight-distance tax Oppose
(5) Vehicle miles driven tax Oppose
(6) FET on tread rubber Oppose
(7) FET on passenger tires Oppose
(8) Increase FET on truck tires Oppose