TRALA Joins Fight Against New Tolls on Interstates
- By: Shannon Davison
- On: 01/07/2014 16:32:37
- In: Legislative Bulletins
The Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) has joined the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), a multi-industry coalition of businesses and organizations that are advocating for solving the nation's growing transportation needs without tolling existing interstates. TRALA members are opposed to the tolling of existing interstates not only because it would amount to double taxation, (interstates that were built and maintained using fuel tax revenue would now also be subject to tolls) but because new tolls would be very costly to TRALA members and their customers. TRALA believes that the fuel tax is more equitable and easier to administer than any transportation funding alternative.
Federal law prohibits the tolling of existing interstate highways, save for interstate segments that pre-date the establishment of the Interstate System in 1956, which were "grandfathered" to be excluded from the tolling prohibition. In 1998, Congress created a pilot project that allows up to three states to toll existing interstates. All three pilot spots are currently held by three states, however the states have not moved forward with implementation of the pilot projects due to fierce opposition from the trucking industry, the broader business community, and even the states' residents. The states currently holding the pilot project spots may end up withdrawing from the program, but with a national shortage of infrastructure funding, new states will certainly be ready to apply for those spots.
There is a growing sentiment among some national think tanks that Congress should repeal the federal prohibition on tolling existing interstates and give all states the option to toll these highways. This argument could be gaining favor with members of Congress who do not want to vote for a fuel tax increase. TRALA and the ATFI do not think that this is a wise or equitable way to solve our nation's infrastructure funding issues, and therefore are adamantly opposed to the tolling of existing interstates.
TRALA President and CEO Tom James said "TRALA is pleased that businesses from a wide range of industries are coming together to send a message that we are united in our opposition to this inequitable funding mechanism."
TRALA encourages its members to have their employees join the fight against tolling existing interstates by getting engaged on social media. Individuals should "like" the ATFI Facebook page by clicking here, and "follow" the ATFI Twitter feed by clicking here. For questions, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at email@example.com or by calling (703) 299-9120