2014 US Trucking News – Budget Proposal for 2015 May Benefit US Transportation Industry
The White House has released its 2015 budget scheme on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, and transportation is one of the largest sponsors. The scheme calls for $4.73 billion for federally funded highways the following year, an increase of 18.5 percent over the $40 billion that Congress agreed to spend in 2014.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says that President Obama has presented the kind of strong transportation budget that the United States needs, one that renews the Highway Trust Fund today, while also helping make sure that the nation has a safe, competent transportation system for tomorrow. Under this plan, the Federal Motor Carriers Administration (FMCSA) would grow to over 14.3 percent, and the FMCSA grants would be prolonged by up to $688 million.
Foxx says that these funds will do everything from assisting communities undertake their to-do lists on transportation, to developing access to ladders of opportunities. He says that they will do everything at the Department of Transportation to make this budget a reality, which includes sending a bill to Congress to support it.
The US Department of Transportation has also expected that America needs to spend $65.3 billion each year, almost $20 million more than the budget calls for, to keep their roads and bridges to their current standards. However, it has stated that the money in the budget would be included to existing fuel taxes and other transportation user fees. The department has also depended on the Congress, as well as President Obama, to look for extra money by closing existing loopholes in the business tax code.
In the face of the administration’s hopefulness, certain industry groups have shown their dissatisfaction with the White House’s budget. The American Trucking Association has also disapproved the budget for giving an uneven amount of funds to railroad and called them short-sighted. Bill Graves, the president of the ATA, says that today’s projected budget misses the mark when it comes to US economy’s transportation needs. It gives no real funding answers for the long-term health of the infrastructure and offers strong new subsidies for a mode that move a tiny percentage of the United States’ freight and passengers.
The association resumes insisting on the Congress to move ahead with an increase on fuel tax.
Just when the construction industry seemed to be getting back on its feet, the danger of a government highway funding crisis this summer has city and state officials and industry leaders on high alert.
A lot of states have already blown their budgets for this year, trying to fill all the potholes that were made by one of the most horrible winters in recent years. Leslie Wollack, the National League of Cities’ program director for federal relations says that it does not matter how many huge projects were planned when the citizens are driving through potholes. She says that this is what people tend to concentrate on. However, Wollack thinks that cities are worried quite a bit with regards to what the future has in store for them.