ATA urges members to support toll restriction

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The American Trucking Associations is urging members to ask their congressional representatives to support legislation that prohibits the creation of tolls on interstate highways, except for one project in Virginia.

The Highway Reauthorization Conference Committee supported that prohibition by adopting Section 1609 of the Senate-passed highway reauthorization bill, H.R. 3.

In addition to asking support of Section 1609, ATA wants its members to oppose the adoption of Sections 1209, 1603, 1604 of the House version of the bill, plus Section 1827 of the Senate version. ATA said on its website that the first three sections would establish a program authorizing three new multi-state interstate toll pilot projects.

ATA maintains that Section 1827, which allows the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to ask states to create additional congestion pricing projects on an annual basis, contradicts Section 1609.

Both the Senate and House version of the bill call for creation of a national commission to study how interstates and other federal-aid highways should be funded. ATA said on its website that allowing tolls on existing interstates before the commission is created is premature.

ATA also said that tolling interstate highways is a form of double taxation. More than $35 billion is paid annually by highway users in federal fuel taxes to support highway maintenance and construction.

For further information, including congressional contact assistance, visit ATA’s website, www.trucking.org.