Recent media reports focused on a six-page draft document that is widely speculated to be the funding principles for the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan. The document, which has yet to be confirmed by the White House, calls for liberalizing tolling policy and allowing states to commercialize interstate rest areas, among other things, as a means of funding infrastructure.
NATSO President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Mullings issued the following statement in response to this document:
“Although the truckstop and travel plaza industry is encouraged that the President continues to push forward on infrastructure and the need to increase infrastructure revenues, we are extremely disappointed at the prospect that the Administration might renew its call for liberalizing tolling policy and commercializing rest areas.
“As an industry that depends on the efficient movement of motorists and goods along the Interstate Highway System, we understand that infrastructure is the key to a strong U.S. economy. It is therefore imperative that the federal government maintain its strong national role in infrastructure development, and not relinquish its responsibility to the states or the private sector. We urge the Administration to refrain from widespread tolling of America’s infrastructure and the commercialization of interstate rest areas.
“It has been nearly a quarter of a century since we increased the federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure, even though all experts agree that this type of government spending saves lives, saves dollars and boosts our nation's productivity. As America’s aging roads and bridges continue to feel the strain, it is time for our leaders in Washington DC to do the right thing by raising the nation’s motor fuels taxes.
“We urge the Administration to seek sustainable solutions to funding infrastructure that don’t harm American businesses and highway users, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to find the best path forward.”