Surface Transportation Authorization Bill Could Top $500 Billion

As I was surfing for more information on the TWIC(Transportaion Workers Identification Card) program that I hear will soon be forcing those of us who haul fresh food products to be fingerprinted and go through a major federal background check to be able to continue to haul produce( yes, fresh food, the new hazardous material soon to be trucked nationwide) brought in though the ports from other countries, I came across this little tidbit of another future robbery of our tax dollars:

The chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee says the next surface transportation authorization bill could top $500 billion.

Such a large piece of legislation – with a potential to be the largest transportation bill in history – should motivate truckers to let lawmakers know how they feel about it, officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-MN, is optimistic that congressional committees will be hammering out details of the authorization bill come May or June. The current transportation policy and funding law known as SAFETEA-LU is due to expire in September.

Oberstar has repeatedly stated, including in a 2008 interview with Land Line, that the Highway Trust Fund and the federal tax on motor fuels will remain the cornerstone of the next era of transportation funding.

However, Oberstar and other powerful lawmakers, lobbyists and stakeholders say traditional funding methods are barely keeping up with SAFETEA-LU’s 2005 authorization of $286.5 billion.

Consensus is that the next authorization period will require new funding sources, and that translates to higher taxes for the end user.

OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Mike Joyce says truckers should be arming themselves with information so their sector of the industry is not ignored or taken advantage of.

“This is the big bill. This is one of those bills that will absolutely, positively, hands down, have impacts on truckers,” Joyce told Land Line.

“Truckers need to be vocal. We need all the dogs out on the porch barking, and we need to wake up the neighborhood. We need to let them know that truckers are paying their fair share . . . . . . . . .

continue reading here: Landline Magazine

What I and hundreds of thousands of other truckers would like to know is what the government is doing with the hundreds of billions, yes I said “HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS” in fuel tax and road tax dollars truckers pay annually. I had a long conversation with Senator Thune’s office on the fuel and road tax issue this week, and will update this post when the legislation material, they sent out to me, arrives and I have a chance to compile a report for you.

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