ATRI Report Suggests Federal Fuel Tax To Aid National Infrastructure

by Jake Tully - Published: 11/09/2017
4.8 3 votes

Earlier this week the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) issued a report entitled Framework for Infrastructure Funding, a report in which the ATRI called upon a federal fuel tax increase to fulfill the administration’s goals for improving infrastructure.

The ATRI reports that other routes to generate revenue for infrastructure such as an increase in tolls and user fees based on mileage will not be able to achieve desired goals without placing hardship on the users of the system.

According to the ATRI, a federal fuel tax increase will give states the incentive to generate an estimated multi-millions of dollars to match federal funds for infrastructure, which will move the country closer to Congressional and Presidential-proposed infrastructure goals.

President of Cargo Transporters, Dennis Dellinger reports that a tax increase on fuel at the federal level may ultimately lead to an improved infrastructure as well as more better roads.

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"Maybe the most important and unexpected benefit of a federal fuel tax increase is the hundreds of thousands of new, high-paying construction jobs that will be produced," said Dellinger. "We often assume that the only reason to raise the fuel tax is to lay more asphalt and concrete. Forgotten in the mix is that tax revenues can simultaneously produce good roads and good jobs."

According to the ATRI, Framework for Infrastructure Funding finds that a $0.20 raise in the fuel tax at the federal level may cause the nation the ability to create close to half a million jobs.

The ATRI reports that the option of “do nothing” may have severe consequences, noting that the federal fuel tax has not been raised in over two decades.

Additionally, Framework for Infrastructure Funding finds that although the commercial trucking industry may contribute over $18 billion in federal fees every year, the amount of freight bottlenecks and traffic congestion finds an annual cost for the industry of over $63 billion.

Among other recommendations and findings contained in the report are a federal vehicle registration fee, as well as reported data that supports the inefficacy of mileage tracking and road tolling.

According to the ATRI, polling data lends evidence to the preference of American taxpayers for a federal-level fuel tax as opposed to other funding mechanisms.

ATA President Chris Spear reports praise for the Framework for Infrastructure Funding report, noting that it echoes the sentiment of many voices present at the Capital.

"ATRI's research corroborates what many of us have espoused in Washington DC and in every state capital: people are demanding action on transportation investment and the federal fuel tax is the ideal tool for delivering the much needed (sic) funding," said Spear.

The full Framework for Infrastructure Funding report can be downloaded at the ATRI site.

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