Skip to comments.Infrastructure Stakeholders to Congress: Fix the Highway Trust Fund
Posted on 02/09/2019 1:05:08 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Nearly a dozen stakeholders representing local governments and the freight and commuter sectors on Feb. 7 urged a House transportation panel to identify a sustainable source of funding for an infrastructure bill.
As the panel prepares to craft legislation, lawmakers agreed infrastructure policy should top their priorities this year. Yet, they continue to differ on a way forward for ensuring the sustainability of the dwindling Highway Trust Fund.
The idea that former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to consider is increasing and indexing the fuel tax by about 10 cents. Doing so, LaHood argued, would bring immediate revenue into the trust fund while other funding alternatives, such as tolls, gain greater acceptance.
Such an increase would need to be signed off by the tax-writing Ways and Means panel. Funding authority for transportation programs expires in the fall of 2020.
All over America there are potholes. And you can only do so much by continuing to fill potholes year in and year out. The interstates are crumbling, LaHood said. You cant fix Americas problems with infrastructure with just tolling, with just [vehicle miles traveled], with just public-private partnerships. You have to create a big pot of money.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) agreed the fuel tax merits inclusion in an infrastructure measure. They also stressed the legislation should reflect advancements in smart technology and projects capable of withstanding the force of extreme weather events.
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, UPS Freight President Rich McArdle emphasized a sense of urgency, noting that traffic congestion along corridors hinders the movement of freight. The chamber consistently has advocated for a fuel tax increase.
(Excerpt) Read more at ttnews.com ...
Are we witnessing what went wrong after we dissolved the Interstate Commerce Commission ? While freight rates were regulated by the commission which should never have been done. Truck lines paid for right of way routes they selected to use on given highways.
It's sort of the equivalent of having flat electric rates with no variability based on peak demand. The whole purpose of having higher rates during peak demand is to encourage people to economize on their usage.
What’s happening here is the left decided another trust fund was there personal piggy bank and used it to fund all sorts of pie in the sky projects.
I agree with you, but I think that’s a much bigger problem at the state level. Some states are notorious for using fuel tax revenues for non-highway projects.
I think my post still applies.
The REALLY NEAT thing about charging people by the mile is that government can base the rates on where people drive, when people drive, what people drive, and even their reported income level, should they choose to.
Also, instead of widening or upgrading highways, they can simply raise the prices of using them, cutting down or eliminating the congestion! Then with the huge revenue they’d be generating by raising the prices, they can send that money to more important things, like Obamacare, New York’s mass transportation systems, Section 8, SNAP, and other higher priority uses which affords them many more votes.
So it’s hard to see a downside to tracking and tolling people as they drive!
The guberment would rather spend millions on fancy rest stops that fix the roads. Some of the rest stops here in Missouri look like small cities.
True - same here with ‘welcome stations’ in the South - there’s a competition between states for the most impressive one.
The first reform has to admit the error of changing the purpose of the Highway Trust Fund into a “transportation” fund and annually cleaving off of it funds for things that are not highways - “mass transit”, ect.
Second, the politicians from the states, both at the state level and in Congress, have been robbing the federal Highway Trust Fund to help subsidize the lack of a funding priority in the state for highway funding, by adding “Interstate” highways to replace the use of existing state highways and get a piece of federal funding for the new highway permanently. And some of these “interstates” are not interstate at all but exist entirely within one state.
Why do they do that? To keep state taxes artificially lower than actually needed for the highways they want, championing the “gift” they’ll get from the federal Highway Trust Fund for the job. Stupid taxpayers love it, while they ignore why their federal taxes are so high.
Federal funding from the Highway Trust Fund should be proportionate to a state’s level of highway funding but Not a dime from the federal Highway Trust Fund should go to any highway that is not a “federal Interstate” highway or a bridge or tunnel that is part of such a highway.
Instead of debating how much more to get out of the federal Highway Trust Fund, the states need to step up to the plate and quit selling their own taxpayers on “gifts” from Uncle Sam - when Uncle Sam is only that other guy picking their pocket.
Why haven’t states been doing that? The Liberals even in “Red” states have EXPLODED the non-basic, non-essential policies and programs in the states, and ignoramuses in many states have exploded the gifts to government employees, creating two giant vacuums sucking government revenue away from the necessary and essential government functions. That has left state politicians winning their pleas to their federal representatives to get more federal funding, rather than explain, honestly to state tax payers why they need another state tax; or, in the Liberal states, they still do not fix the budgetary priorities and go ahead and increase the taxes.
Plenty of good points in the thread. Has anyone started taxing in electric car charging stations. Greens should pay their share of the green. Although as a target tax on big green I really like taxing the heck out of carbon credits! Lots of revenue potential from something that is worse than worthless.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.