To rebuild nation's infrastructure, add a new per-gallon 'user fee' on gasoline, ATA president says

ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Spear penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner, urging Congress to embrace a federal fuel user fee as the most viable, efficient and conservative approach to raising real revenue that can be immediately invested in roads and bridges. ATA's plan, the Build America Fund, would generate $340 billion in new revenue over the first 10 years.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed:

"President Trump is showing strong leadership again as he strives to 'reclaim our building heritage' with a $1.5 trillion investment to build a next-century national infrastructure...

"A user fee is the most fiscally conservative, efficient and viable solution to rebuilding our infrastructure. Ninety-nine cents of every dollar goes immediately to its intended purpose of road maintenance. By contrast, as much as 33 cents of every dollar collected by tolls is squandered on administrative and overhead costs. Historically, the user fee has bipartisan support. Former President Reagan twice proposed a user fee that was supported by Democrats and Republicans, organized labor, and the business community....

"The average passenger vehicle driver would pay just $2.00 per week—less than a latte....Compare that to the cost of inaction--$1,500 annually in maintenance, repairs, wasted gas, and lost time, compared to $100 per year to travel on a safe and efficient highway system.....

"Congress can look in its own backyard where the toll for driving less than 10 miles one way on I-66 express lanes in Northern Virginia continues to regularly hit rates north of $35, even reaching $46.75 at its peak. One driver stuck in traffic best summed it up in a tweet, #highwayrobbery."

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