The American Trucking Associations this week sent a letter to Congress — co-signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AAA — urging them to raise the at-pump tax on gasoline and diesel purchases to restore the revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund.The user pays model, ATA argues, is the most fair and practical way of funding U.S. roadways.
“Rather than continuing to resort to short-term funding patches that only delay tough decisions, our organizations support action to address the issue pragmatically, immediately and sustainably,” the letter reads. “While no one wants to pay more, we urge you to support an increase to the federal fuels user fee, provided the funds are used to ease congestion and improve safety, because it is the most cost efficient and straightforward way to provide a steady revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund.”
The fuel tax on gasoline and diesel was last raised in 1993. Inflation, better fuel economy and increased costs of labor and construction “have eroded…the purchasing power” of the Highway Trust Fund, the organizations argue in their letter, which led to the borderline insolvency facing the HTF in recent years.
ATA also unveiled an infographic aimed at educating lawmakers and the public about the highway funding shortfall, how that shortfall came about and how a fuel tax increase would work to shore up the HTF: