The American Trucking Associations announced this week its endorsement of several revenue alternatives for funding what it calls a “surface transportation infrastructure funding crisis” in the U.S.
ATA says it began with 30 different potential revenue options and narrowed it down to those that it sees as being the best to fund highway and bridge upgrades.
The options ATA says it backs include:
- Indexing of the fuel tax based on price, CPI or the estimated impact of improved fuel efficiency;
- Proceeds from repatriation of overseas capital;
- Issuance of Treasury bonds subsidized with revenue from indexing the fuel tax;
- A new annual “highway access fee” for all motorists;
- Use of royalties from new oil and gas leases;
- A per-barrel tax on imported oil and domestic crude production;
- And finally, as a last resort, a transfer from the General Fund to ensure short-term Highway Trust Fund stability.
Two highway bills are currently on the table: one in the Senate and one from the White House. The Senate plan does not have a funding mechanism yet, but it would be a six-year extension of MAP-21 funding levels with small year to year growth to account for inflation. It passed the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works Committee last week.
The bill from President Obama would use business tax reform to fund the Highway Trust Fund. It has seen no action in either chamber.