WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator McCain's recent
proposal for a three-month "gas tax holiday" would devastate our national
transportation system without ensuring its goal of lowering gasoline prices
for consumers. It is less a quick fix than an over-simplified play to voter
concerns over the rising cost of oil.
The user fees that drivers pay on fuel are deposited directly to the
Highway Trust Fund, a self-contained pool of money dedicated to investing
in our nation's highways, bridges, and public transportation. The current
user fee of 18.4 cents per gallon has remained unchanged since October 1,
1993, despite inflation and the skyrocketing cost of construction.
According to the American Association of State Highway and
Transportation Officials, suspending those surcharges during the
high-mileage summer months would, at best, only save motorists an average
of $28 while devastating highway and transit programs. This would happen
just as the Highway Trust Fund is already facing an expected shortfall of
$3.4 billion as early as next year.
Instead of a stimulus there would be real costs to the economy:
increased congestion for every employee who needs a fast, safe, reliable,
cost-effective transportation system to get to work and every business that
moves goods to market, and lost jobs for hardworking Americans who are
repairing bridges, transit systems and crumbling highways.
Our nation's transportation infrastructure is quite literally the
platform of our economy, and it is already deteriorating at an alarming
rate. Now is not the time to propose red herrings instead of real
solutions. If anything, concerns over high energy costs should be dealt
with through comprehensive energy policy, not sacrificing our
Suspending the fuel surcharge might make a good sound bite, but it is
bad public policy.
The Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) is a national coalition
working to ensure our nation's transportation infrastructure is improved to
meet current demands and future needs. Launched on June 26, 2001, ATM
represents over 400 major transportation users and providers who are
working together for a safer and more efficient transportation
SOURCE Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition