Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Small-business truckers see good and bad in $1.5 trillion infrastructure package
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization representing professional and small-business truckers, welcomed President Trump’s call for $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment during last night’s State of the Union address. However, professional truckers are concerned by the Administration’s reliance on private investment to achieve this level of funding.
“Our nation’s highway system has long been the envy of the world, but its condition is deteriorating” said Todd Spencer, Acting President of OOIDA. “The heart of it is a fuel tax with revenues collected going to roads and bridges. It’s simple, efficient and it serves the very real needs of our country and its people. Policy makers have known this all the way back to President Eisenhower. It’s time for lawmakers at every level of government to acknowledge this reality be honest with the American people.”
The issue of federal funding of highways has been a challenge for policymakers because of negative attitudes toward raising taxes. OOIDA, however, believes that the most efficient way to raise funds is with fuel taxes, both diesel and gasoline. This is opposed to looking to private-public partnerships, the sale or lease of existing roads, or efforts to convert roads into tolled roads.
“If elected officials think a fuel tax increase would be unpopular, wait until Americans encounter more and higher tolling,” said Spencer. “An investment of $1.5 trillion in infrastructure will help dramatically improve our roads, while spurring economic growth. But increased tolling is not the way to pay for it. Instead, the White House and Congress should find the courage to increase federal fuel taxes, which are a significantly more reliable and efficient source of revenue than tolling.”