The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, strongly objecting to his 35% truck-only toll increase on the Indiana Toll Road, as well as comments he recently made to justify his plan. OOIDA opposes the increase, calling it ineffective, punitive and discriminatory.
“A truck-only toll increase smacks of a betrayal of reasonable public policy,” said Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA. “We are also appalled at the lack of transparency associated with a proposal that will no doubt fail to solve the state’s serious history of financial problems and bad decisions regarding infrastructure and transportation.”
In the letter, the Association objected to recent comments by the governor that trucks cause “10,000 times” more damage to roads, and that truckers are “lucky they aren’t being charged 10,000 times more than cars.”
“Despite your absurd and unsubstantiated claims, truckers already pay more than their fair-share in transportation-related taxes,” said Spencer. “As much as the government likes to treat them as such, truckers are not rolling piggy banks.”
OOIDA often points out that trucking is an industry primarily comprised of small-businesses and that more than 96% of truck fleets have fewer than 20 trucks.
“They are the backbone of our economy and deliver billions of dollars of freight that supports every community in America. Tolls impose financial burdens on small-business truckers who are already operating on the smallest of margins,” said Spencer.
OOIDA also expressed concern about truck traffic being diverted to other routes, disrupting those communities and increasing congestion.
“This undermines the financial viability of the toll road itself as demonstrated by the previous operator,” Spencer said. “Our Interstate Highway System was built to provide citizens of this nation with the ability to move about freely, including the ability to transport freight in an efficient and affordable manner for the benefit of all Americans and our economy. Indiana, through the leasing of the ITR, has unequivocally jeopardized this system.”