2013 US Trucking Industry News – House Bill to Increase Fuel Tax
Rep. Earl Blumenauer has introduced two bills this week. The first bill (HR 3638) is about establishing a road usage free pilot program for studying mileage-based fee systems. The second bill (HR 3636) is about the amendment of the Internal Revenue Code of 1896 to increase the excise tax regarding gasoline, kerosene, and diesel.
This bill was introduced last December 3 2013. It would raise the federal fuel tax by around 15 cents on gasoline and diesel over the next three years.
Blumenauer has said that the gas tax prices have not increased since the Clinton administration. With inflation and the increased fuel efficiency for vehicles, the average motorist is paying half as much with each mile, as they did back in 1993. He thinks that now is the time for the Congress to act. There is a persuasive coalition that is ready to support Congress. This also includes the US Chamber of Commerce, the National AFL-CIO, the construction and trucking industry, cyclists, professional groups, associations of small and medium businesses, local governments, and lastly, transit agencies.
In 2009, the Federal Highway Administration has estimated that over $70.9 billion worth of repairs are needed to keep the infrastructure safe. Ever since this estimate was made, the American Society of Engineers has concluded that the US needs around $2 trillion dollars to remain economically competitive.
Blumenauer has also mentioned that the Congress has contributed to the general fund deficit by transferring more than $50 billion of General Fund’s revenues to the Highway Trust Fund. A press release from Blumenauer says that in order to keep a current funding in the following years, the Highway Trust Fund needs almost $15 billion a year, in addition to their current gas tax receipts. Continuing down the current path will mean a drop of 30% in federal transportation spending by 2024. This act would raise about $170 billion over the next ten years.
Blumenauer says that instituting a gas tax increase that is reasonable provides the revenues that Democrats say they want, with a form of a user fee which has been acceptable to Republicans, which included Ronald Reagan. Reagan increased the gas tax by a nickel a gallon back in 1982. Blumenauer also mentions that addressing the infrastructure deficit, stabilizing the transportation funding, as well as helping America’s slow economic recovery is critical if its citizens want to have a livable and economically prosperous country in the years to come.
Bill Graves, the American Trucking Association’s (ATA) president and CEO, says that the ATA is very pleased to support Rep. Blumenauer’s proposal to increase as well as index the tax on federal fuel. Underinvestment in highways has turned out to be a huge burden in the trucking industry. It has raised the cost of moving freight and undermined the reliability of a logistics system that is critical to the nation’s competitiveness. This investment in highway projects that was made possible by this revenue will greatly improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the trucking industry, and will benefit all Americans.
The American Trucking Association, which was founded in 1933, is the biggest national trade association for the trucking industry. The ATA represents more than 37,000 members that cover every type of motor carrier in the US. It is the trade association that represents its members before Congress, the executive branch, the courts, and other types of regulatory agencies. Since 1933, the ATA has become the leading advocate for America’s trucking industry. Its staff works to educate policymakers and the general public about the essential role that trucking plays in the economy. It also promotes responsible policies to improve highway safety, and to advance the industry’s environmental goals.
The Federal Highway Administration is an agency in the US Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, as well as the construction and maintenance, of America’s highway systems. It also includes various federally and tribally owned lands. Through financial assistance to state and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that the highways and roads in America continue to be the safest and most technologically sound in the entire world.
Meanwhile, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a professional tax-exempt body founded in 1852. It represents members of the civil engineering profession from all around the world. ASCE is currently based in Reston, Virginia, and is the oldest national engineering society in the US.
ASCE is the permanent organization that represents the civil engineering profession in the US. Their mission is to provide value to their members and partners, advance civil engineering, and to serve the public good. The ASCE also strives to facilitate the advancement of technology, encourage and give tools for lifelong learning, promote professionalism, and influence public policy. It also aims to develop and support civil engineer leaders, as well as to advocate infrastructure and environmental stewardship.
However, there is only just one general fund, which is under the control of the US State and Treasury Department. Each federal agency has maintained its own balancing set of accounts. This general fund is also used to account for receipts, as well as payments that don’t belong to other funds.
Trust funds are earmarked for certain programs and purposes that are in accordance with a statute that designates this fund as a trust. Its designation assigns the fund as a trust instead of just a special fund. An example of these funds is the Highway Trust Fund.
The United States Highway Trust Fund is a transportation fund that receives money from a federal fuel tax of 18.3 cents with each gallon of gasoline, and 24.4 cents with each gallon of diesel fuel and related excise taxes. The Trust Fund currently has three accounts: The Highway Account, which funds road construction, a smaller Mass Transit Account which supports mass transit, and a Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. It was established in 1956, in order to finance the United States Interstate Highway System, and other roads.