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ATA backs infrastructure funding options

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (May 22, 2014) — Indexing of the fuel tax and a per-barrel tax on oil are among the funding alternatives the trucking industry would endorse in a surface transportation infrastructure funding bill, the American Trucking Associations said May 20.

“While we continue to believe that the fuel tax is the fairest, most efficient method of funding our highway system, we also recognize the political difficulties of getting an increase through Congress,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves, speaking at an ATA leadership meeting in Scottsdale.

The ATA would not oppose indexing the fuel tax based on price, the Consumer Price Index or the estimated impact of improved fuel efficiency, the association said. It also would endorse a per-barrel tax on imported oil and domestic crude production.

Other funding options favored by the ATA include:

• Proceeds from repatriation of overseas capital;

• Issuance of Treasury bonds subsidized with revenue from indexing the fuel tax;

• A new annual “highway access fee” for all motorists;

• Use of royalties from new oil and gas leases; and

• As a last resort, a transfer of money from the General Fund to ensure short-term Highway Trust Fund stability.

The ATA’s list of endorsed options was winnowed down from a list of more than 30 potential alternatives suggested by a task force put together several months ago, according to Pat Thomas, ATA vice chairman and vice president of UPS Inc.

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