ATM Statement on Sen. John McCain's 'Gas Tax Holiday'

    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
 transportation infrastructure.
     Suspending the fuel surcharge might make a good sound bite, but it is
 bad public policy.
     About ATM
     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
 infrastructure system.

SOURCE Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition

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