In response to a report from the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) agrees there is a need for additional funds but wonders why there was no thorough evaluation of how highway user dollars are currently spent.
“This commission's report is a waste of public and private resources, let alone the time and energy of transportation policymakers,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA. “Before dumping more water into the bucket, we need to fix the gaping holes in the bottom.
Most relevant to truckers are the commission's recommendations for a 15-cent increase in the diesel fuel tax, doubling the annual Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, and further increases in the truck tire tax. The commission also suggests more toll roads, conversion of existing public roads into toll roads, and a system to record and tax miles driven.
Trucks make up only 7 percent of traffic on the nation's highways. But the various highway use taxes that truckers pay amount to more than 36 percent of the total money contributed to the Federal Highway Trust Fund.